Net closing in on Chippy Shaik over R30m bribe

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

The net is closing around Chippy Shaik, with the National Prosecuting Authority threatening to apply directly to the German authorities to hand over information related to Shaik's alleged request for a R30 million bribe.

"There can be no meaningful progress with the investigation until the information in the possession of the German authorities is obtained ... if the requested information from the Department of Justice is not forthcoming, then a request for mutual legal assistance will have to be directed to the German authorities," the NPA said in a report presented to Parliament yesterday.

Tabled at Parliament's standing committee on public accounts yesterday, the report repeats the allegation that "a department of defence official demanded a bribe of R30million from Thyssen, which was paid into an offshore company account".

The official is widely reported in the media to be convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik's brother Chippy, who was chief of acquisitions for the Department of Defence at the time.

Chippy allegedly demanded the bribe in exchange for promising Thyssen that it would win the contract to provide the South African Navy with four warships.

The NPA suggests that the Department of Justice has derailed what was supposed to be a joint German-SA investigation into the bribe.

"German authorities had directed a request for mutual legal assistance to the Department of Justice but this had been returned unexecuted with certain queries," the report says.

The government has been at loggerheads with the NPA over allegations of corruption in the arms deal, with the government denying that any investigation exists.

In August last year, then public enterprises minister Alec Erwin told a media briefing that "the German prosecutors are not prosecuting anybody. They've stopped the investigation. They believe there's no basis whatsoever for the investigation".

Director-general of the Department of Justice Menzi Simelane also claimed that "the German authorities are not pursuing that investigation any further".