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Cablegate: Germany Aborts Probe Into South African Arms Deal

R 071305Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4977
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
AMEMBASSY BERLIN
AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
AMCONSUL DURBAN
AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG
NSC WASHDC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS PRETORIA 001460


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: GM KCRM MARR PREL SF
SUBJECT: GERMANY ABORTS PROBE INTO SOUTH AFRICAN ARMS DEAL

1. (U) The following message is based on local press reports
detailing events in Germany of great interest to the South
African public. German prosecutors aborted their probe into
a decade-old arms deal between the South African Navy and
German arms manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp. Despite repeated
calls from opposition leaders and local analysts for an
inquiry into Mbeki's role in the arms deal, no action in
South Africa has been taken to investigate the details of
this scandal. The two-year German inquiry concerned the sale
of four corvettes in the late 1990s in which ruling ANC
leaders allegedly profited from bribes in a multi-billion
dollar arms package involving Germany, the U.K. and Sweden.
Press reports indicated that internal memos from ThyssenKrupp
detail how Chippy Shaik, the former South African head of
defense procurement and brother of the infamous Schabir Shaik
(who was convicted in 2005 of corruption in this deal),
demanded three million dollars in exchange for contracts to
build corvettes for South Africa. After failing to secure
enough evidence to prosecute ThyssenKrupp during the
investigation, the Dusseldorf public prosecutor's office
opted to permanently dissolve the investigation.

BOST

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