Paradis fiscaux et judiciaires

DA will ask Mbeki to jog his memory about arms deal

lundi 21 mai 2007

Source Mail & Guardian

DA will ask Mbeki to jog his memory about arms deal

Cape Town, South Africa

19 December 2005 01:40

The Democratic Alliance on Monday accused President Thabo Mbeki of being "obfuscatory" about his involvement in the arms deal.

Mbeki had given a "completely unsatisfactory" answer to a DA question on whether he met representatives of French arms company Thomson-CSF in 1998, said DA public accounts spokesperson Eddie Trent.

The company’s South African subsidiary has been charged with corruption related to the multibillion-rand deal, along with former deputy president Jacob Zuma.

"The DA will send a copy of the president’s reply back to his office with the request that he jogs his mind on the details of the meeting in question," Trent said.

He had asked the president whether he met representatives of Thomson-CSF in Paris in December 1998, a time when he was still deputy president and chair of the ministerial committee overseeing the arms procurement package.

Mbeki’s reply was "obfuscatory at best".

He did not recall such a meeting, but in the course of his duties he had met and interacted with a large number of business people, he responded.

"It is inconceivable that any reasonable person should accept the president’s answer given the facts which have thus far been made public," Trent said.

An encrypted fax from Thomson-CSF which was part of the court record in the trial of Schabir Shaik, suggested Mbeki had given an assurance that the company would be awarded the contract for a corvette combat system.

Another Thomson-CSF fax, Trent said, indicated Mbeki met company executives in France in December 1998.

"The president has a slew of aides and diary secretaries in his staff and he should ask that they consult his diary for details of this alleged meeting," Trent said.

"A simple ’I don’t recall such a meeting’ is not good enough."


copyright Mail&Guardian.

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