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South Africa “to reopen” Zuma corruption probe

President Jacob Zuma under new pressure over corruption as arms investigation may be re-opened
Zuma corruption fighter jets 2011 08 01Enlarge
Reports in South Africa say that investigators may reopen a corruption case against President Jacob Zuma over the purchase of Gripen fighter jets in the 1990s. (Patrick Tragardh/AFP/Getty Images)

Investigators have written to Parliament saying they might reopen a corruption investigation involving arms sales in the 1990s that has implicated President Jacob Zuma in the past.

South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper quoted from a letter written by the head of the special Hawks investigative unit to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts last week.

The news comes after Swedish company Saab admitted that together with partner BAE Systems it had paid $3.6 million in bonuses and commissions to a South Africa consultant to secure its share of a $5 billion defence deal in the 1990s.

Saab was to provide 26 of its Gripen fighter jets for $2.3 billion as part of an overhaul of South Africa’s military.

Corruption allegations associated with the defence contracts have dragged in multinational companies, South African businessmen and top politicians, including Zuma.

Six years ago Zuma’s financial advisor was jailed for 15-years for his part in the bribery scandal.

Hawks head Anwar Dramat said that two investigators would be dispatched to Europe.

"The two officials will assess the available information which points to a crime (or crimes) in South Africa or whether this information has evidential value in South Africa or whether it could be converted into relevant evidence by means of formal mutual legal assistance programmes,” he said.“-reopen”-zuma-corruption-probe