ARMS DEAL: Shamin Shaik testifies before Seriti Commission

NOVEMBER 10, 2014

Shamin Shaik, the former head of acquisitions for the South African National Defence Force, is set to testify at the Seriti Commission this week.

Shaik, who is the brother of President Jacob Zuma's former financial adviser, Schabir Shaik, was head of acquisitions at the time of the now-infamous arms deal.

The arms deal folows after the South African Department of Defence's Strategic Defence Acquisition aimed to modernise its defence equipment, which included the purchase of corvettessubmarines, light utility helicopters, lead-in fighter trainers and advanced light fighter aircraft.

He is alleged to have demanded a R3 million bribe from arms manufacturer Thyssen to ensure that the German company's bid to build four corvettes for South Africa was successful.

Germany's Spiegel magazine reported that Shaik made the demand in 1998 and in 2000 Thyssen deposited the money into the account of a non-existent company in London.

Thyssen, though, had apparently recorded the demands on internal memos, which German prosecutors were able to obtain.

Shaik quit public office in 2002 after an inquiry found that he had acted improperly by leaking confidential information on the arms deal.

The Seriti Commission, which was appointed by President Jacob Zuma, is investigating allegations of corruption in the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal in which South Africa purchased 50 fighter and trainer aircraft for the air force as well as frigates and submarines for the navy.

Shaik is scheduled to testify for the whole week, Sapa reported.

Photo caption: The arms deal folows after the South African Department of Defence's Strategic Defence Acquisition aimed to modernise its defence equipment, which included the purchase of corvettes.