Gripen inquiry reopened in SA?

subscriber | 24 March, 2008

JOHANNESBURG. The National Prosecution Agency in South Africa, threatened by closure seemingly for its investigations into ANC leaders, has reopened an inquiry into the dealings of deceased former defense minister Joe Modise and his entourage, claims Johannesburg investigative newspaper Mail & Guardian.

The newspaper pointed out Mr. Modise’s advisor and confidant Fana Hlongwane last year as a possible suspect and under investigation by the British Serious Frauds Office (SFO).

Mr. Hlongwane allegedly received $ 8 million in commissions between 2001 and 2005 for consultancy work related to the Gripen sale. Other persons mentioned as reciepients of commissions for the BAE-Saab deal with South Africa are deceased BAE agent Richard Charter, South African industrialist Basil Hersov and British-Zimbabwan arms dealer John Breedenkamp.

The British investigation has, however, been hampered by lack of co-operation by its South African counterparts.

Serious Frauds Office’s Stockholm counter part, State Prosecutor Christer van der Kwast, has done pre-investigations of the matter but hasn’t found any reason to launch a full inquiry.

There would be limited political support in Sweden for such an inquiry.

The NPA in South Africa hasn’t stated if it has re-opened the inquiry. The likelihood that it happens is limited but not unlikely as the NPA has become a political battleground.

The Zuma faction within the ANC, now firmly in the drivers seat, wants to close down NPA as an independent unit and merge it with the SA Police.

This is widely, among political analysts and commentators, seen as a way of stopping investigations of ANC politicians. If NPA indeed is investigating Modise it could be a way for the unit to show more interest in investigating politicians identified as Mbekiites.

Its been pointed out for some time by commentators that the alleged corrupt practices by ANC president Zuma, a possible ZAR 500 000 bribe by French Thales, and about ZAR 1.6 million in “loans” from his now jailed former advisor, is miniscule compared with the alleged bribes paid to South African politicians and their moles during (and after) the 1999 arms deal.

The sale of 28 Swedish manufactured Gripen jet fighters was the largest component in that deal.

Saab will not comment on details around commissions paid, referring to the ongoing investigation of BAe Systems, which was in charge of the marketing side of the Gripen deal and therefore handled these payments.

Mail & Guardian also claims that Zuma supporters are trying to build a case against president Mbeki in relation to the German export of frigates and submarines in order to pressure for a general amnesty for everyone who've dipped into the arms deal.

ScanView
Saab is conveniently apportioning blame to its former marketing partner BAE Systems. It is feasible, but not credible, that Saab knows nothing about commissions paid by BAE Systems to individuals via accounts in far-flung offshore islands. If large payments have been made to consultants Saab may have circumvented normal corporate governance rules by not having internal controls in place that can explain what kind of work individuals have done.

If a consultant does substantial marketing work for Gripen, to the tune of SEK 60 million over five years, one would assume that the company would need to liase with its partner BAE Systems about the amount and quality of work that the consultant in question have put in.

This, we believe, is the exact point where numbers, events and explanations do not add up and the matter should be further investigated also by the Swedish prosecutor - as Saab's corporate head office is in Sweden and possible fiddling with money affects shareholders.

In-action from Christer van der Kwast would make it look like he is cowardly passing the buck. South Africa's purchase of Gripen was the largest component in South Africa's controversial international arms purchase.

Still Sweden has done far less than other involved countries to bring all information above board.

Related articles

Related advertorials

SOUTH AFRICA:

Apartheid era oil storages fill up as US cuts import from Africa

open | 19 March, 2014

Africa, strategic oil:

South Africa must look to increase its refining capacity

open | 09 March, 2014

Brazil-Saab:

Brazil's surprise jetfighter decision sets scene for reduced superpowers control over arms trade

open | 17 January, 2014

> ARMS DEAL-FRAUD INVESTIGATION: Saab's agent in South Africa under investigation by British Serious Fraud Office
> ARMS: Saab negotiates multi-billion deal with Denel - Africascan update
> Saab touted as possible replacement for Boeing in India's prestigeious Tejas domestic jet fighter project

The phone directory app that gets India talking

open | 14 October, 2013

Digital change:

Reporters without quotes

open | 08 October, 2013

Obama Power to the People

subscriber | 13 July, 2013

Obama-Africa energy

Power to the people

open | 03 July, 2013

> Emerging economies hardest hit if oil price manipulated

Spys and donors

open | 15 June, 2013

OIL ANALYSIS:

African answer to US shaling revolution

open | 06 June, 2013

> Emerging economies hardest hit if oil price manipulated
MDG's:

The UN post-2015 report - new targets, less pain, new gain

subscriber | 31 May, 2013

Norway's pension fund under fire from OECD for human rights failure

open | 30 May, 2013

Bill's pill's - the Gates Foundations' upbeat report card on poverty

open | 07 April, 2013

Top-down, down-up

Setting free the bears in the 'digerati' circus tent

subscriber | 03 April, 2013

BAE-Saab arms deal:

New evidence links SAs former chief of staff to jet fighter commissions

open | 05 December, 2010

NUKE REACTORS & JET FIGHTERS

open | 04 February, 2010

The US Administration's "certification" of India's signing of a safeguard agreement with IAEA February 1 does not only mean that civil nuclear co-operation with India is cleared by the administration. It means that the US chances to sell F-16/18 jet fighters to India increases.

> NUKE REACTORS & JET FIGHTERS
> RISK ANALYSIS: These are the pitfalls in Swedish outsider Saab's bid to win India's $ 12 billion jetfighter deal

Sweden turns to its royals and the sound of ABBA to get through to India's decision makers

subscriber | 19 October, 2008

Gripen inquiry reopened in SA?

subscriber | 24 March, 2008

The National Prosecution Authority in South Africa has reopened an inquiry into allegations of possible financial irregularities by deceased former defense minister Joe Modise and his entourage linked to the Gripen/Hawk jetfighter deal, claims Johannesburg investigative newspaper Mail & Guardian. A ScanView commentary states that Swedish prosecutor Christer van der Kwast has so far not confronted Saab with central corporate governance questions.

Mozambique eyes Norway for clues how to handle possible natural resources windfall - oil companies expect to find oil

subscriber | 09 December, 2007

Confidence is on the rise in Mozambique as natural resources projects are coming on stream and the economy continues to grow fast from a low base. Legal wrangling and a need for political protection are major hurdles for broader investments.

Biofuel in Africa - not an easy stroll in the sugar cane field for Swedish hopefuls

open | 08 December, 2007

South Africa turns down EU-SADC trade deal ahead of Lisbon summit

subscriber | 07 December, 2007

Nordic sugar giant Danisco makes niche investment in South Africa

subscriber | 09 July, 2007

The Swedish Prosecutor considers but hasn't yet decided to investigate Gripen sale to South Africa

open | 28 February, 2007

RETAIL INDUSTRY-ANALYSIS: Retail boom could lure the likes of H&M, IKEA, Elgiganten and Fona to Africa

open | 11 December, 2006

TRADE & INVESTMENT:

Chinese offensive in Africa causes dilopmatic distress

open | 15 November, 2006

ENERGY-FEATURE:

Don't expect Africa to take the lead on emissions - the West must show the way

open | 28 October, 2006

AFRICASCAN CONFIDENTIAL, No 2

open | 16 May, 2006

SOUTH AFRICA's democracy 10 years:

The story of the Madonna of Excelsior - same God, separate churches

open | 07 April, 2004

EXCELSIOR. In the small conservative farming community Excelsior material life is undoubtedly better after ten years of democracy. But the invisible hand of apartheid, ingrained racism and widespread poverty makes everyday life not so different from that of life during the apartheid era.

TELENOR'S NEW PARTNER IN INDIA:

HIGH RISK, SECRECY, NOT NECESSARILY HIGH REWARD

subscriber | 28 October, 2012

> HIGH RISK, SECRECY, NOT NECESSARILY HIGH REWARD
COLUMN:

INDIA'S NATIONAL PSYCHE AND THE GAMES

subscriber | 15 February, 2010

> INDIA'S NATIONAL PSYCHE AND THE GAMES
PRESSRELEASE:

Brazil air force favors Saab’s Gripen

subscriber | 06 January, 2010

GENEALOGY: South African town battles over divisive Swedish 'colonialist'

open | 07 January, 2008

Here is a riddle for you. He was one of the leading South African 'voortrekkers'. A little town in South Africa's northern province of Limpopo is named after him. The municipality thinks this fellow was a 'colonialist' and that the old town name therefore is controversial. Few know of his Swedish roots - his Swedish name was Trägårdh. His family is one of many Nordic family names that live on in South Africa. So who was he?

Underperforming Sweden-South Africa matchmaking fund to be wound up

subscriber | 31 March, 2006

A government run Sweden-South Africa risk capital fund will be closed due underperformance. The fund has spent SEK 65 million since it was launch during a visit by Prime Minister Göran Persson in November 1999.

AID-DEBT RELIEF: For a song! - Denmark to write off €437 million to Africa

subscriber | 31 January, 2006

Denmark´s Development Minister, Ulla Tørnæs is singing along with rock icon Bono and promises to write off € 437 million to Africa´s poorest countries. Debt relief activists are not impressed.

AID-DEVELOPMENT: Nordic aid agencies want prosecutor to investigate funds linked to murdered journalist

subscriber | 24 January, 2006

In a new twist Nordic aid agencies want the Mozambican state prosecutor to investigate funds which, certainly in the public mind, are linked to the murder of journalist Carlos Cardoso, according to Africascan´s information.

AID-DEVELOPMENT: South African truck drivers living dangerously - update

subscriber | 15 January, 2006

AGRI INDUSTRY: Yara gave controversial price to Ethiopia´s president, won € 12.5 million worth of contracts

subscriber | 15 January, 2006

What correlation is there between giving Ethiopia´s Meles Zenawi Norwegian fertiliser company Yara´s prize and being awarded a multi-million contract in Ethiopia a few months later, asks a Norwegian watchdog.

FORESTRY INDUSTRY: Swedish forestry investor hit by byzantine rules and racism in Mozambique

open | 15 January, 2006

Just about everything that could go wrong did so, when Swedish investor Mikael Salin invested in Mozambique, but the company now seems to have turned a corner.

AFRICASCAN COMMENT: An old brothel in need of TLC has found its saviour

subscriber | 20 December, 2005

Slightly less corruption in Africa - but how about those who pay the bribes?

subscriber | 13 November, 2005