Saab hit by new South Africa bribery probe

Saab hit by new South Africa bribery probe
A subsidiary of Swedish aerospace company Saab is under investigation for bribery in connection with the 1999 sale of JAS Gripen combat aircraft to South Africa.

The allegations have prompted calls from Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu to tear up the deal.

Documents from South Africa’s highest court, which have been reviewed by Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN), point to Sanip, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saab Aerospace.

The documents were made public following the execution of a search warrant at Sanip in November.

The search warrant was granted in order to investigate several transactions between the company and an advisor to the man who was South Africa’s defence minister at the time the deal was signed.

The new bribery allegations against Saab have caused Tutu to call for the whole deal to be abandoned.

He claims Sweden acted recklessly and pressured South Africa to buy the Gripen aircraft.

A betrayal, Tutu says in an interview with Sveriges Television (SVT).

“They held the bribes out there like a carrot. Of course we could have said no, theoretically, but when you’ve been poor for a very long time and someone offers you 20 million…,” Tutu said to SVT.

Tutu’s goal is to ensure the deal is thoroughly investigated, which may complicate life for Jacob Zuma, likely to become South Africa’s new president, as he is suspected of taking bribes in the deal.