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UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

PRESIDENT MBEKI'S BROTHER JOINS THE RANKS OF THE SMALL ELITE WHO BENEFIT FROM THE ARMS DEAL

STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
UDM PRESIDENT

The UDM condemns the latest revelations surrounding the brother of President Mbeki who reportedly stands to benefit from the arms deal. It is a sad day indeed when you observe seven years into our new democracy the ridiculous levels of nepotism and corruption that we thought had been relegated to the era of the Matanzima's and PW Botha's. South Africa is at a crossroads, without drastic action history will record that ours was a democracy that allowed itself to become the vehicle for the elite to continue enriching themselves at the expense of the masses. It is the worst kind of injustice when centuries of blood and suffering to establish a just and fair democracy, is abused like this by the very people who claim to be its custodians.

Relatives and friends of the executive have been linked over and over again to the arms deal. Usually we discover that this elite buy or receive businesses at the most opportune times. The conflict of interest is painfully obvious. The Cabinet, in particular Mbeki, have to be aware of the glaring conflicts of interest when they appoint people to positions of influence. Claiming ignorance is simply not good enough. Diliza Mji is Chairperson of British Aerospace SA, how can government allow his appointment as Chair of the Independent Development Corporation (IDC)? The government condones corruption every time that it turns a blind eye to such glaring conflicts of interest. That is why Mji can, without the slightest hesitation or fear of prosecution, make a personal loan from state funds (IDC) to finance his and Mbeki's brother's acquisition of an arms company.

The opposition and the media are constantly told not to seek conspiracies, but how can we not notice the sinister implications of these revelations. For instance, is the reason Chippy Shaik has not been acted against because he is hobnobbing with the brother of the President of the country in these strange arms transactions? Does that explain Mr Shaik's confidence when he interfered/intervened in various sensitive negotiations, where he had no right or mandate to do so? Is that why Shaik did not recuse himself, as he claimed, from discussions that affected his brother's arms bids?

The same names surface with every revelation; they are the new elite. They are the select few who are connected to the executive, who get richer and richer while the country becomes just another African basket case. Where is the African Renaissance in this unadulterated plunder of resources and taxpayers' money? The media deserve accolades for their fearless investigations. The Executive is obviously loath to launch an independent investigation, because it would find them guilty of stealing from every South African.

Enquiries:
Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

Pretoria
27 July 2001

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