Arms group admits to SA bribes

2011-06-17 06:45

Stockholm - Swedish defence group Saab on Thursday admitted that millions were paid to clinch a South African contract for fighter jets but said its erstwhile British partner BAE Systems had paid the bribes.

Saab said R24m had been paid by BAE in the form of bonuses and salaries between 2003 and 2005 for the deal involving 26 JAS Gripen fighters.

The comments came after Sweden's TV4 television channel said it had evidence Saab had promised to pay Fana Hlongwane, then advisor to the South African defence minister and also serving as a consultant to the Swedish firm, millions of euros in bonuses if Pretoria did not back out of the Gripen deal.

Saab said R24m had been paid by its South African subsidiary Sanip, which was then controlled by BAE Systems.

Saab president and chief executive Haakan Bushke denied responsibility saying in a statement: "A person employed by BAE systems has without Saab's knowledge signed for us an unknown contract, signed for us up until now unknown transactions..."

BAE Systems said last week it had sold its stake in Saab for £152m.

The 1999 deal with South Africa provided for the sale of 28 jets for €1.6bn but this was later whittled down to 26. The last plane is due to be delivered next year.

  • allan - 2011-06-17 08:23

    Don't know if what is presented here links the bribes directly to the ANC, however it does not take too much imagination to do that. I always said those planes were far too sophisticated for an S.A. service and unnecessarily expensive.

  • Nuck Choris - 2011-06-17 09:22

    Shame, only 24 mill. Thats less than a mill a jet. Boy have they learned a lot since then. Nowdays that would be called the sweetner.

  • Investor - 2011-06-17 09:43

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm .. What is ANC doing about this ? Is SARS investigating if this income was declared and if tax was paid on this amount ? WAKE up SARS ! Wake up ANC !! Wake up DA !!!

  • Grump - 2011-06-17 10:25

    Is it not about time that SARS undertook a full lifestyle audit on all individuals involved in the Arms Deal? Seems that teh department of correctional services would need to build a few more jails....

  • noodlemania - 2011-06-17 10:32

    wtf did we need 26 jets for anyway? now can we have an arms deal probe pleeeeez?

  • scud - 2011-06-17 10:48

    Is it not time the media (incl F24) did some real investigative reporting and named and shamed the culprits?

  • DirtySamurai - 2011-06-17 15:13

    Anywhere else Zuma and co would be in jail. OK maybe not Russia,Cuba, Zim, Myanmar or North Korea. We are in a very cool club these days!

  • Ryan - 2011-09-18 16:23

    proof of massive ANC corruption in this matter finally

  • eduard.l.goldschagg - 2013-02-18 10:10

    We already know who the culprits are - why more investigations? Bribery and corruption will NEVER be rooted out until you have cleaned the fountain!

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