[DEBATE] : Manuel must account for arms deal, Crawford-Browne, B Rep
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Sun Feb 5 17:48:39 GMT 2006
Business Report, Johannesburg, Letters, February 5, 2006
Manuel's persecution is a sideshow; he must account for arms deal
Thank you, Na-iem Dollie, (The Week In Review, January 29) for suggesting
that Trevor Manuel has more important things to do than attach my late
mother's bed-sit in a run-down retirement home in a no-go zone of Durban,
and try to auction it for R915 000.
In November the Cape high court rejected his application for my financial
His purpose in both instances was to paint me as dishonest. Manuel is
obsessed with trying to prove that I am hiding millions under every bush,
and that I am actually fronting for arms dealers (Hansard, June 21, 2005).
Having relinquished my banking career during the 1980s to oppose the
apartheid government through the banking sanctions campaign, I am equally
committed that a corrupt ANC government does not destroy South Africa's
Manuel, without parliamentary or constitutional authority, has ceded control
over South Africa's economic and financial future to Barclays Bank, the
British government and the International Monetary Fund.
The 20-year loan deals in my possession for the BAE warplane contracts
signed by Manuel have been verified as authentic, and are a textbook example
of Third World debt entrapment by European banks and governments.
Manuel signed those loan agreements despite warnings from the department of
finance and others that the arms deal was a highly risky proposition that
could lead the government into "mounting fiscal, financial and economic
Action to have the loan agreements declared ultra vires will reveal Manuel's
perfidy, hence his desperation to silence me.
We have 42 percent unemployment on Manuel's watch; 6 million South Africans
will die of Aids-related diseases by 2010; and 7 million South Africans are
living in shacks. Why are people rioting all over the country?
South Africa's housing, education and health services represent the betrayal
of the struggle against apartheid, and are in chaos thanks to the ANC's
prioritisation of the arms deal before investment in people.
The former British secretary of state for trade and industry, Patricia
Hewitt, admitted bribes had been paid to secure BAE's warplane contracts
with South Africa, but then pleaded they were "within acceptable limits".
What are those "acceptable limits"? British Prime Minister Tony Blair put
massive pressure on our government to buy BAE warplanes that the SA Air
Force and former secretary for defence Pierre Steyn considered too expensive
and unsuited to our requirements.
Our government buckled under British government coercion.
As Judge Hillary Squires commented in his judgment on Schabir Shaik, bribes
were standard practice in the arms trade. Bribes are how political parties
are funded in Europe, especially France and England.
BAE Systems, with the tacit approval of the British government, maintains a
spider's web of front companies in the Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands,
Switzerland and elsewhere to pay bribes to politicians and parties to
promote British arms exports. British researchers estimate that the bribes
for BAE's R15 billion warplane contracts with South Africa amounted to £160
million (R1.75 billion).
What they don't yet know is how those bribes were split between the British
Labour Party and the ANC.
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