Mzansi Afrika

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dirt

The Mail & Guardian has begun to unpack the DA statements concerning Mbeki's alleged "secret" meeting with Thompsons, the French arms company. According to the newspaper, the DA claim to have evidence suggesting that President Thabo Mbeki held a secret meeting with Thomson-CSF in 1998.

Apparently, the party has in its possession an encrypted fax which suggests that President Mbeki promised Thomsons, as early as 1997, that they would be awarded the combat system contract. A separate fax "indicates that the president held a secret meeting with executives from Thomsons in December 1998, in complete violation of tender procedures".

DA public accounts spokesperson Eddie Trent said that unless Mbeki broke his silence, the public would be justified in thinking arms deal corruption extended "far beyond Jacob Zuma".

Payback time? Isn't it funny that "Oilgate" broke about two weeks before the end of the Shaik trial by which time Zuma had already been badly implicated. And suddenly, now the DA claims to have evidence that Mbeki himself is implicated in the arms deal? The DA (and the ID) have been calling for further investigation into the arms deal for years, surely if the DA had these encrypted faxes in their possession before now they would have said something. Did someone in the Zuma camp leak the information to the DA? Why did the DA release this information in Parliament on the very same day that the new Deputy President was announced?

What I don't understand, is why did Mbeki go so far with Zuma? Surely he must have known that the Zuma camp would reveal? There is some big political game going on, and who knows at this stage what truths are going to come out, and what deals are going to be made behind the scenes to keep things quiet.

I think it's going to get dirty, very dirty.


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