Picture: (AFP/Gianluigi Guercia)- South African president Thabo Mbeki is pictured in May 2008
The weekly Mail and Guardian newspaper today named the source of a R30 million arms deal bribery claim against President Thabo Mbeki, but says the man had died in a car crash last year.
A former umkhonto we sizwe soldier and ex-member of the National Intelligence Agency’s (NIA) anti-corruption unit, Mhleli Paul Madaka, was reported to be the source of the allegations first printed in the Sunday Times at the weekend.
Madaka, 47, died last August when his car crashed into the premises of a MAN truck and bus yard in Centurion, the company allegedly involved in the bribe.
In a story headlined, “Dead men tell no tales”, the Mail and Guardian reported that Madaka’s allegation was included in a report on MAN Ferrostaal by international risk consultancy Kroll.
It claimed that Mbeki was paid R30 million by the German shipbuilding company to guarantee it would receive a submarine contract in South Africa’s multi-billion rand arms deal.
Mbeki repeatedly denied the allegations and was considering legal action against the Sunday paper.
The Sunday Times reported on the allegation without naming the source quoted in the report. Neither did it say which company had prepared the report.
The Mail and Guardian says it had also obtained an “information note” from Madaka which backed up the allegation.
Madaka was involved in an investigation in the arms deal. The note read that both the NIA and the Scorpions had proof that Mbeki received the R30 million in cash from MAN Ferrostaal. A few weeks after Madaka spoke to risk analysts about the allegation, he was killed on August 21 when his car veered off the road near the Brakfontein off-ramp on the N1