We thank Martin Welz of NoseWeek Magazine for confirming that the controversial organogram has nothing to do with Heath Investigation Unit and that he personally drew it up – “as a hypothesis that could form the basis of an investigation”.  (The Star Newspaper of today 23 January 2001 refers)

He further stated that, “If you are investigating a matter like this, the first question you ask yourself is: Who is the most important person in the government? The answer is Mbeki as president.  Then you note his name.  You then ask if he has any relatives involved in the arms industry, and you come up with his brother Moeletsi, who is involved with two companies DGJT and Paramount Logistics”.

The Diagram itself also reveals the names of four Sheikh families.  The names of former Minister of Defence, J Modise and his two brothers-in-law, Lambert Moloi and Tshepo Moloi who are associated with African Defence Systems believed to be heavily involved in the R43bn arms procurement deal also appears in the organogram.

The allegations of corruption in the R43bn arms procurement deal have ruffled feathers, at very high places in government.  Rumours of linkages involving companies that are expected to benefit from kickbacks in the deal implicates big names in government.

This is cause for concern when the President and his Executive demonstrate so much anger and hostility at the prospect of the involvement of the Heath Unit in the probe as originally recommended by Parliament.

Mr Martin Welz, has come out with names of relatives and close associates of prominent ANC personalities including the President and his brother, who are alleged to be involved with these companies.

This in our view and in the minds of many South Africans amounts to conflict of interest where these politicians are concerned.  It reinforces the suspicion that the Executive has something to hide, which explains scurrilous accusations levelled at the Heath Unit, SCOPA and the Auditor-General.  The Executive and the President in particular owe it to the Republic to keep their hands off the probe, and allow unfettered investigation to go to the root of the problem.

He also owes it to himself and his administration to clear the cloud of suspicion that they are involved in great cover-up, by helping the investigation rather than hindering it.

If President Mbeki is aware that his brother is involved in one of the bidding companies, common decency obliges him to recuse himself from any decision making process where the granting of the tenders in the procurement of arms is concerned.  In view of the fact that he has already excluded the Heath Unit, which alone has the powers to cancel any tainted contracts, he is under a compelling obligation to review, his earlier decision.  Failure to do so can only mean that there is a conspiracy of corruption at the highest level.