Call on Zuma to blacklist BAE

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma should ensure that arms giant BAE was blacklisted from all future government contracts in South Africa, arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne said in a letter to the president yesterday.

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma should ensure that arms giant BAE was blacklisted from all future government contracts in South Africa, arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne said in a letter to the president yesterday.

Crawford-Browne also called for the summary cancellation of BAE's Hawk and Saab Gripen contracts and the appointment of a commission of inquiry.

Zuma should make the announcements in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday, Crawford-Browne said.

His letter came after BAE Systems, the second-largest arms manufacturer in the world, last week agreed to pay fines totalling almost R3,9billion in the US and Britain to resolve long-standing corruption allegations.

"BAE has now been confirmed by British and United States authorities as a corporate criminal entity with a very long and repeated history of using bribes to secure arms contracts," Crawford-Browne wrote.

In the light of this, Zuma should appoint an independent judicial inquiry into the arms deal in the interest of "corruption-free governance".

Crawford-Browne said in December 2008 Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president FW de Klerk had jointly petitioned then-president Kgalema Motlanthe to appoint a judicial inquiry into the deal.

They were told to take the matter to the police instead, Crawford-Browne said.

He had petitioned Zuma last June to appoint a commission, but the president had replied there was "no case for an inquiry" and that his petition was "vague and embarrassing".

"That your advisers very seriously misdirected you is now confirmed by the decision announced on Friday," Crawford-Browne wrote. - Sapa

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