Mzansi Afrika

From Johannesburg South Africa, a window on the world

Friday, April 23, 2004

SA Judge Goldstone appointed to probe UN Oil for Food scandal

Today’s Mail & Guardian reports that Judge Richard Goldstone has been appointed to an independent panel to probe the Iraqi Oil for Food scandal. He has been selected by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to serve alongside former US Federal Reserve Chairperson Paul Volcker.

“ The inquiry is an attempt by Annan to restore faith in the UN after persistent allegations that under it’s administration the Iraq Oil for Food programme has become an influence racket that corruptly benefited Saddam Hussein’s regime, political cronies worldwide – and individual UN officials.”

It also appears there may be a South African connection among the 50 countries with nationals said to be implicated in the scandal.

“In February the M&G reported on the nexus between Sandi Majali, a relatively unknown South African who got significant oil allocations from Iraq, and the African National Congress. ANC secretary general Kgalema Motlanthe and treasurer general Mendi Msimang both travelled to Baghdad with Majali around the time he got allocations. Other well connected South Africans, most notably Tokyo Sexwale, also got allocations.”