By Pinky Khoabane
President Jacob Zuma had “endless briefings” with authors of the CIEX report into large-scale apartheid theft ahead of ANC’s takeover of democratic South Africa. He “was always very keen to get to the bottom of the situation, to recover the money for South Africa and to make the payment that is due to Ciex”.
This is according to Liesl Göttert, a representative of an international consortium which includes CIEX Ltd which was commissioned by former President Thabo Mbeki (deputy president at the time) to look into apartheid-era conspiracy and misappropriation of South African assets. Here’s the contract between South African government, signed by Billy Masetla and Michael Oatley, then Chairman of Ciex Ltd. http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/the-ciex-report/
Gottert said she and Oatley met Zuma at his home on several occasions and he promised to recover the apartheid theft, the beneficiaries of which include ABSA, Sanlam, Nedbank, and several companies in the defence sector, if shown proof.
They had “endless briefings starting with Mr Oatley and myself at the kitchen table and in his dining room in Forest Town, Johannesburg. At the first meeting, (in the) kitchen, he said he understood why Mandela had not pursued the matter but those considerations would not stop him doing so, in an equable way, if we were to bring him proof,” Göttert said.
Ciex approached Mbeki with information on the conspiracy and theft concocted between senior members of the Broedebond including South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Chris Stals, Anton and Johann Rupert, ABSA’s Danie Cronje, Sanlam’s Marinus Daling and Anton du Plessis. The ABSA theft was the first the London-based intelligence agency pursued as it already had a lot of information on file. “After some months’ work CIEX demonstrated to a group of seven cabinet ministers chaired by Mbeki the mechanics of the fraud, identical to those employed by the SARB in previous similar situations as established by Mr Justice Nel’s enquiry into the Masterbond scandal, and the opportunity to recover the R3.2 billion (now, with the passage of time and compound interest a vastly bigger sum) and the means of doing this without any risk of systemic damage to the banking system,” Gottert explained.
CIEX’s advice was backed by internationally recognised banking experts including a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Kit McMahon, and the then Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, she said. The international consortium, of which Oatley was a member, then pursued other matters and came up with the conclusion that R26bn could be recovered from large-scale apartheid theft especially in the defence sector.
The big question has always been why the ANC government didn’t pursue the money.
Gottert said the ministerial group set up by Mbeki had always been in favour of recovering the money but was halted by former President Nelson Mandela. “However when the matter came to the attention of President Mandela he ruled that pursuing it would be too disruptive politically at a delicate time in the country’s history and action to pursue it, and to pursue similar instances of large-scale theft and misappropriation was halted,’ she added.
When the story of a scandal at ABSA, published in British media was re-played in SA, Mbeki decided to launch an official enquiry under the anti-corruption commissioner Justice Heath. Heath then pursued the matter, aided covertly by CIEX, and in due course concluded that CIEX’s conclusions were correct and that the R3.2 billion was owing from ABSA and its shareholders, Sanlam and the Ruperts. However, even though he had no authority to do so Heath ruled that the money should not be re-claimed from ABSA for fear of systemic risk to the banking system. Several sources close to the case concluded that the directive could have only come from Mandela as ABSA’s senior management had already begun preparations for repayment in four annual payments without damage or risk to its business let alone any risk to the banking system.
Ciex Ltd has over the years pursued the matter with a view of recovering the commission it was to be paid on monies actually recoverable as a product of its investigations. It has written several letters to various cabinet ministers and ANC officials on this matter. Gottert said their latest attempt was with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan at a lunch meeting following Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile’s funeral in Alice in the Eastern Cape. He dismissed the claims, she said.
UnCensored is in possession of letters to the various cabinet ministers including ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, written in 2015.
Oatley a bounty hunter, former M16 Agent, hell-bent on destroying SA’s banking system?
Following an open letter by forensic investigator Jeff Koorbonally http://uncensoredopinion.co.za/open-letter-pravin-gordhan/ in which he questioned former Governor of SARB Tito Mboweni’s role in the bonds the SARB had allegedly given to ABSA in a secret deal, Mboweni tweeted that Oatley was an M16 agent. He added: “CIEX report. I know about this BOUNTY HUNTER’S submission. That’s why I instituted an Enquiry he aded by a judge. Conclusion was to close it”. Gottert responded thus: “This statement by Mboweni is consciously mendacious. As a member of the (Mbeki’s) ministerial group, Mboweni was perfectly aware of the terms on which CIEX Ltd was employed by the SA Government, and also aware that at all times the operations of CIEX in these matters were monitored and controlled by the Deputy President through the Director General of SASS Billy Masethla. After his Davies Report was published, Mboweni responded in correspondence with Michael Oatley implicitly accepting that recovery from ABSA and its shareholders was possible but saying that Government had decided not to pursue the matter further. No reason for this was given”.