PREMIUM FREE TRIAL

Meet Terry Crawford-Browne: Fighting to recoup R70bn SA taxpayers spent on crooked Arms Deal

Meet South Africa’s version of Andrew Jennings, the British investigative journalist who took more than a decade trying to convince the world FIFA was corrupt to the core. Capetonian Terry Crawford-Browne has been at it twice as long in his efforts to expose corruption in the country’s Arms Procurement Deal where bribes running into billions were paid by British and German arms manufacturers. Over this time, Crawford-Browne has been painted by his enemies as an obsessive old man who lives in a fantasy world. This week he put that theory to the ultimate test by approaching the Constitutional Court to set aside the Seriti Commission which delivered an astonishing “whitewash” clearing even a man who has already spent time in jail. Crawford Browne’s story starts in Libya, moves on to his fight against the Apartheid Regime’s conscription and then the key role the former Nedbank executive played in the imposition of financial sanctions against South Africa. That lead directly to the freeing of Nelson Mandela and a peaceful transition to democracy. It was Crawford-Browne’s efforts which forced SA President Jacob Zuma to launched the Commission of Inquiry in the first place. Now the septuagenarian activist wants the truth to emerge because if he’s right and there was fraud, the whole disgusting episode can be rewound – and the R70bn claimed back from arms makers who delivered just one fortieth of their agreed “offset” and none of the promised 65 000 jobs. More than that, it will make the promotors think again about forcing through the next instalment of State plunder, the proposed nuclear build programme. Here is his story. – Alec Hogg   

Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne marching outside Parliament with a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne marching outside Parliament with a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters.

We’re joined now from Cape Town by Terry Crawford-Browne, a name well-known to South Africans but your background is very interesting. The Rubicon speech on the 15th of August 1985 is kind of what sparked your interest in doing good for the nation generally. Up to that point you were working with Nedbank and seemed to be, well I guess another corporate financial executive. What changed you there?

That is true but it actually happened a bit before that because I had a 15-year-old son who was suddenly told he had to register for conscription into the army and I told the school I refused to allow them to register. They said, “The law says” and I said, “The law says that I’m his guardian until he’s 21 and do not register my son”, so he avoided being conscripted, but the upstart of that was that I was then appointed by Archbishop Philip Russell who preceded Archbishop Tutu as the Archbishop of Cape Town as one of four Anglican church representatives to the Western Province Council of Churches. At the first meeting, I was then the churchwarden at St George’s Cathedral and the chairman of the Justice and Peace Committee and the first meeting I went to I thought, “Ooh, this was a mistake, I shouldn’t have agreed to do this”.

Alan Boesak was hauling forth and Judge Ian, he was now Judge Ian Farlam, he was one of the other four representatives, He said don’t resign yet and so Alan Boesack and I began to discuss banking options since 1984, the beginning of 1985 preceding the Rubicon speech and then the Rubicon speech really did set things off and per chance I had a transaction going through the last business day of August 1985 for DM120mn that I had bought from Safmarine representing a ship that they had sold to East Germany and we were instructed to pay the Dollar equivalent which was just under $60mn to their account at Barclays Bank in New York.

We instructed our bankers in New York, the banker’s trust to make payment and banker’s Trust had lent $200mn to South Africa, near $60mn coming through Nedbank’s account. They grab our $60mn and the whole New York banking payment system just implodes. People without any connection to South Africa got caught up. It apparently took about a week to put it back together again and so Dr Beyers Naudé and the South African Council of Churches and Boesack said, “Wow, if we can do this in Cape Town, that’s the pressure point”. Six months later I was then despatched in New York to be given a banking sanctions campaign and that’s the first time I actually met the Archbishop, Bishop Desmond Tutu as he was then, at the UN in New York in October 1985.

That was an incredible beginning because it wasn’t long thereafter that there was a debt standstill in South African. International banks closed ranks and actually if you look back on it and follow the money that brought out the end of Apartheid.

It did and my concern was that we were on track for war. We wouldn’t know what the death toll might be, we could have had a bloodbath but the economic infrastructure would be destroyed, and we could never put the country back together again. So I was doing it from that perspective and also my involvement with the End Conscription Campaign as a means to avert a civil war.

Where did your activism… because it’s an unusual route, there you are as a leading executive banker, there would have been some people in Nedbank not too happy to see your name associated with the End Conscription Campaign. Of course you did resign from Nedbank before you went onto the international sanctions route there, but where did it all come from?

I grew up in Libya until I was 17. Now Libya had been destroyed by the Second World War and we were meant to be there two years and stayed for 15 and for my teenage years, there was a war going on next door in Algeria and the parallels were there with what we were facing in South Africa and I thought, “Hey we’ve got to find a non-violent means of bringing about constitutional change before we have a catastrophe”.

We had the change. Nelson Mandela came out of prison, South Africa had this miraculous transformation with lots of people like you working in the background and it wasn’t too much longer that, as Andrew Feinstein says, “We lost our moral compass through the arms procurement deal”. Where did that spark come from?

Well of course after 1985 I continued, if I can step back a bit, after the Rubicon speech, that launched at the Banking Sanctions Campaign with Archbishop Tutu and Beyers Naudé was then picked up in the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, the UN Commonwealth and although the focus tended to be more on the lending, it was actually the payment system, the seven major New York banks were critical and if you didn’t have access to them because of the role of the US Dollar you wouldn’t be able to trade with Europe or Japan etcetera and we leveraged that out in constitutional change.

The end of the State of Emergency released conscript prisoners and banned political organisations, constitutional repeal of Apartheid legislation, constitutional negotiation for a non-racial democracy and that was picked up and really the background to President de Klerk’s speech on the 2nd of February releasing Nelson Mandela, and the Reserve Bank and others realised that without access to those seven major New York banks you were out of the world. So that really was the pressure point and we were fortunate it was the end of the Cold War and Perestroika, and so they could no longer waive the Communist threat etcetera. To our own astonishment President Bush Senior added his support and issued an ultimatum in October 1989 calling for compliance with those three of our conditions.

Then yes, we had the transition and 1994, just a few months after the transition, Armscor was caught selling AK47’s and other military equipment to Croatia in violation of the UN Arms Embargo and these AK47’s had been imported from China as the part of the destabilisation of frontline states and so Archbishop Tutu appointed me to represent the Anglican Church at the Cameron Commission Enquiry. We said “Close this Apartheid era industry, it’s highly subsidised, it makes no sense, it diverts public resources from other priorities and we shouldn’t be selling weapons into war situations such as Croatia which was then succeeding from Yugoslavia” and post-Apartheid South Africa should not be in the war business.

Unfortunately, President Mandela intervened against us and said we would have a responsible arms trade industry that would create jobs and I’m afraid the Arms Deal then followed from there. But then we had the defence review from 1996 to 1998 and Archbishop Ndungane who had replaced Archbishop Tutu appointed me to represent the Anglican Church there over the two years, defence review in parliament and it was quite unique in that church representative and NGO’s were allowed to participate.

Terry, just to fast-forward to the headlines if you like, of the Arms Deal, what was the original cost supposed to be?

We started off in 1994/1995, they were talking about R1.7bn for three Spanish Corvettes and that’s where the issue of offsets came up again that the Spaniards would invest, I think it was R4.8bn in return for spending R1.7bn on three Corvettes and half of that was going to be for exports of fish to Spain and I got one of my ex Nedbank clients to run an analysis of that so that there’s just not enough hake in South African waters to support this offset proposal, it would collapse the fishing industry within a few years and so the Corvette programme was scrapped.

Joe Modise then reworked it and during 1996/1997 Archbishop Ndungane and I had a meeting with him and he agreed that the Spanish proposals were unworkable and would have destroyed the fishing industry but he said we will know better next time and so he then together with Trade and Industry made offsets a mandatory feature of all government foreign procurements over $10m.

Arms deal affordability study

It sounds pretty feasible. It sounds like a good idea. If we as a country are going to buy something from another country there should be quid pro quo but clearly offsets are not what the public believes them to be.

No they are internationally notorious for corruption. It’s a means of working proliferation promoted by the arms companies and they bring in their governments to lobby very, very heavily on their behalf. You’ll recall that after 1994 we had all the European politicians flocking to South Africa to pay tribute to our condition and to Nelson Mandela on the one hand while they were peddling weapons with the other. That includes Queen Elizabeth when she came to Cape Town in March 1995, so they put huge pressure on our government by weapons we didn’t need and couldn’t afford.

That is where the whole thing starts escalating. Just to get back to that figure, it started off at R1.8bn, the number that I read through your affidavits was R30bn, Andrew Feinstein, when I spoke to him earlier this month said it had escalated to R70bn. How is that all possible?

The public announcement in November 1998 was in return for spending R29.9bn, South Africa would be at offsets with R110bn, so it would create 65 000 jobs, between November 1998 to signing the contracts in December 1999, that R30bn was already unrealistic. It was probably R43bn at that point. The contracts were of course in foreign currencies, US Dollars, Deutsch Marks, which then become Euros and were costed at R6.25 to the US Dollar and so amongst other things we’d have a massive depreciation of the Rand which is a major part of the increase in costs, but in addition a lot of aspects of the Arms Deal was not publicly disclosed, so when Andrew shared the scopa investigation in September/October 2000 after the Auditor General Report I think the cost at that point was already up to R47bn.

What about the offsets or these nicely termed issues of improving the situation for South Africa, the quid pro quo, how much of those offsets has actually come forward?

They were to be split between National and Industrial Participations called NIPs and defence industrial participation called DIPS and 16 percent for the DIPs and 84 percent for the NIPs. The DIPs were intended to develop the Denel as a major role player in the International armaments industry, Denel having been hired off from Armscor in 1992 and the NIPs were general economic development. When Parliamentarians and the Auditor General said they wanted details of what these offsets were all about they were promptly told, “Sorry, the offset contracts are confidential and parliamentarians and even the Auditor General are not allowed to know about them” and when we raised this in parliament at the Department of Trade and the portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry they said they simply did not have the capacity to audit or oversee the offset programme.

For years very skimpy reports were sent to parliament on the NIPs, not very much about the DIPs, how these offsets had been magnificently successful, that for instance, for the submarines, TerraStar, the German Submarine Consortium had actually exceeded their obligations. Then media investigations elsewhere and this is just a farce. They had massive multiplier effects which were inflating the so-called benefits and a number of companies said “Well we’re listed on these reports as offset projects; we have nothing to do with this”. Electrolux was one of the early ones.

A company in Durban approached me to spill the beans on an offset project that the DTI had lured them into with BAE where they were developing a process to reduce these remissions and this would be a BAE offset project. On the basis of that they hugely increased their premises, their staff, borrowed money from Absa at which point BAE demanded an 80 percent equity in the company and the directors said “We are not giving away our company to you” at which point the BAE then withdrew the guarantees to the Absa loan accounts and the company went under.

Terry Crawford-Browne is petitioning SA's Constitutional Court to set aside the Seriti Commission findings and allow the country to sue the arms makers for the R70bn it cost taxpayers.
Terry Crawford-Browne is petitioning SA’s Constitutional Court to set aside the Seriti Commission findings and allow the country to sue the arms makers for the R70bn it cost taxpayers.

There are many of these stories that you’ve articulated over the years, but some people say you’re obsessive, some people say that you’re like a dog with a bone, you just don’t want to let it go. How do you respond to that kind of criticisms?

I think there are three defining issues for the Mbeki Presidency: First HIV/AIDS, and he wouldn’t listen to informed people who eventually exposed and eventually the Constitutional Court forced a reversal on that. Second Zimbabwe and the third one is the Arms Deal and the corruption it has unleashed. We now recognise that corruptions is a massive problem in the country but government and particularly the Mbeki administration brushed everything aside and the consequence is that we’re now facing an investment downgrading to junk status. Yes, I never thought 20 years ago I’d still be at it.

I have a feeling that once government was informed about the reputation of offsets of corruption, they would rethink but no they were adamant that this was going to be a major means of job creation. We didn’t get the jobs. Eventually when exposés came out in Europe about what BAE and bribes paid to Saudi Arabia and South Africa and then in Europe around submarines, eventually in 2012 the Minister of Trade and Industry acknowledged that instead of these magnificent offset benefits that we’re going to get, BAE had paid, had met it’s offset obligations to the tune of 2.8% and the Germans 2.2% of what they were supposed to deliver.

One fortieth of what they promised?

Yes, but within those, even worse than that, the Clinton Report into Ferrostaal, which managed the offset programme for the German Submarine Consortium, they found that offsets were simply vehicles to pay bribes and the Germans did it by way of what they called non-refundable loans.

Have the money, don’t repay us.

Right.

Terry, just before we go into the South African investigation into this, have there been international investigations and if so what have they found on these alleged bribes that were paid by these big international companies?

In 1998 when I first heard about BAE laundering bribes to South Africa via two Swedish Trade Unions, I got confirmation from Sweden. Then through a campaign in arms trade in London, our British Government to investigate their point in Scotland Yard and when it came back it was not an illegal English law then to bribe foreigners and therefore there was no crime for Scotland Yard to investigate. Run on from there, Swedish TV4 has been taking up the issue since 2010/2012 and the man who was then the international relations officer for the commission at the Worker’s Union in Sweden had become the leader of the Social Democratic Party, as Stefan Löfven and he’s now the Swedish Prime Minister. Just even simply one of many, many covert bribe payers on behalf BAE.

Read also: Zuma no show: Swapping panel discussions for Swedish socialist talk?

As far as England is concerned the major investigation relating to Saudi Arabia, South Africa was number 2. There were other investigations – Chile, Czech Republic, Romania, Qatar, Tanzania, etcetera. South Africa was the second largest. Tony Blair intervened in 2006, to squelch the theories of fraud office investigation against bribes the BAE was paying to Prince Bandar and other Saudi princes and Blair said it violated British national security, which was a contradiction of British commitments in terms of the OECD Convention against Bribery of Foreign Officials and Britain was rapped across the knuckles but nonetheless they insisted this investigation should be squelched. The campaign against the Arms Trade and the Corner House in London took the British Government to court in London, won the case.

The British government then took the matter to the British Law Lords who ruled it was the corroborative of the British Government to determine what is and what is not national security and therefore on appeal the case was lost. In the meantime the Guardian newspaper was exposing the scale of BAE corruption and how BAE had laundered bribes to Saudi Prince Bandar who was the Saudi ambassador in Washington for 22 years and very close to the Bush family and Reagan, and that over the years BAE with the support of the British Department of Defence had laundered bribes of over £1bn to Prince Bandar through Riggs bank in Washington DC.

Suddenly the Americans got involved and they wanted to know why the British were laundering bribes through Riggs Bank which has subsequently been closed down. Eventually BAE was fined $400mn in the US in 2010 and another $79mn in 2011. In 2011 the British then wrapped BAE over the knuckles with a princely fine of £30mn to be donated to charity in Tanzania and so it goes on.

Terry Crawford-Browne Arms deal exhibit one

It goes on and on and we’ve had the Chilcot Commission in the UK as well which showed Tony Blair up in a very poor light to support this evidence that you’re bringing. South Africa on the other hand has the Sereti Commission and that commission has a clean bill of health for everybody involved in the Arms Deal.

Yes. Last week I filed an application in the Constitutional Court to set the Sereti Commission Report aside but if I can now go back a little more that in 2008 the last thing the Scorpions did before they were disbanded was to raid BAE’s premises in Pretoria and Cape Town and they seized 460 boxes and 4.7-million computer cases of evidence.

Arms deal agreement (Armscor, SA govt, DTI & British Aerospace)

So they knew how important this was, because as you say just before they were disbanded, in they went, grabbed what they could because they knew that perhaps the source of South Africa’s moral compass loss was there.

Yes, a week later I prevailed on Archbishop Tutu and former President De Klerk jointly to appeal for a Commission of Inquiry. His response was “Take your information to the police”, so we tried to get in when President Zuma came into office, and his response was “There’s no case to answer”. Eventually the Hawks are brought to parliament and General Dramat confirmed that yes, they had inherited all this evidence from the Scorpions, all the evidence from BAE plus the evidence from the Chairman of the Credit Consortium and Submarine’s Consortium, so much evidence it would take ten years to analyse it and therefore they proposed to abandon the investigation which they announced they were doing two weeks later.

Immediately after the announcement that the investigation had been abandoned I filed a case in the Constitutional Court in October 2010 in the public interest to say that there’s a mountain of evidence, it is therefore irrational and unconstitutional for President Zuma to continue to refuse to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. His legal counsel tried to argue presidential prerogatives and to avoid the substance of the issue until the judges said, “Can we move to the substance?”, and then he wanted a postponement.

He got two postponements and a couple of days before the second postponement expired in September 2011, President Zuma reportedly told the ANC’s national executive committee that he was going to lose the case that I had brought in the Constitutional Court and therefore to avoid being dictated to by the Constitutional Court he would appoint the Commission of Inquiry. So obviously we smelled a rat from day one and despite the public promise of an open transparent Commission of Inquiry it very rapidly became apparent that it was part and parcel of the cover-up.

With our discussions again with Andrew Feinstein, he said that initially he tried to work with the Commission; he was very keen to give them evidence and duly did so. Clearly they had a mountain of evidence as you’ve just mentioned that the Scorpions before they were disbanded had at their disposal and none of that seemed to give the Commission any insight into any bribes that were paid. Yet you’ve been pretty specific about this. You’re now taking it to the Constitutional Court to set aside the Commission. Have you got hard evidence that you can now bring into the public domain at the Constitutional Court to finally put this thing to bed?

Not only was there evidence around BAE not investigated, it was left lying in shipping containers in Pretoria and the Commission pleaded that it would be too expensive to have it scanned and indexed, etcetera. My intonation is it would cost about £280 000 to do that, so to save money they squandered a R137m, but my particular issue was that in total of the subpoena arrangements I was entitled to view evidence, so I demanded the international office negotiating team and financial working group papers that had been compiled during 1998/1999 ahead of the signing of the contracts.

I’d gone to Cape High Court in 2001 wanting to have the loan agreement set aside and in 2002 I received an email from London to say that someone had some very interesting documentation and if I got the right software he will put it on his website and so low and behold down comes 255 pages of loan agreements from Barclays Bank for the BAE contracts BAE and BAE SAAB contracts, 20-year loan agreement signed by Trevor Manuel and so I put those into the court and said I want the supporting documentation for this lot and the court gave a discovery of the INTN financial working Group papers.

Arms deal, BAE affidavits (part one)

Trevor Manuel and Maria Ramos refused to comply with that discovery order in 2003, so yes we’ve had a very long saga because of the refusal then to comply with the court order. With this subpoena from the Sereti Commission I said I want the documentation, the IOMT, and financial working group papers. In February 2013 I was told that those documents were now available for me to fly up to Pretoria to examine them. We flew up. About an hour before we arrived in Pretoria, Judge Sereti then removed authority to go and look at them. The first thing we did in Pretoria was to threaten him with court action so he backed down.

We were given nine lever arch files of documentation which were a complete mess but it was very obvious immediately that they just cobbled together anything to try and fob me off and so throughout the process I kept demanding the IOMT and financial working group papers. I had estimated there were about 8000 pages of documents that I was entitled to. Eventually through pagination and other things, I was able to work out, it was probably close to 17 000 pages and in due course I got the acknowledgement from Advocate Ndumbe that yes, 17 000 was about right but he said we’ve already got those documents but it was very evident I was not going to see them.

Arms deal, BAE affidavits (part two)

There really are two big questions on this; Does the Constitutional Court have to listen to your matter and if so, if they find the way that you are fully expecting them to find, what power does it have enforce what needs to be done?

Yes, well there are two aspects to this in terms of Rule 81. Direct access in pursuit of justice and I’m bringing in public interest, then pursuit of justice, I think we had reason to direct access but in addition this relates to the presidential misconduct and here only the Constitutional Court can handle such issues. So I’m asking for access to the Constitutional Court both in terms of direct access and exclusive jurisdictions but I’m basing it on the basis of the Section 217, one requirement of Constitution that covers government procurements but they must be conducted in accordance to the system that is open, transparent, fair, competitive, and cost effective and the Arms Deal doesn’t tick any of those boxes.

Nkandla Hearing showed that Jacob Zuma was impervious to the rapping that he took from the Constitutional Court. He simply ignored it and so did the ruling political party.

Okay but the second point is that the Arms Deal in my view was both unconstitutional and it was fraudulent. We did not get the offsets, the R110bn that we were supposed to get, so it was fraudulent, so it’s no prescription on fraud and the internationally accepted remedy for fraud, if you cancel a contract you return the goods and you recover the money and you do not allow the fraudster to profit financially from his fraud. We also have in part of the documentation, the remedies in case of bribes clauses in the contract, so South Africa has the right to cancel a contract and claim compensation and so I’m asking the court to instruct the Minister of Finance to recover what monies have been paid and preclude that action. We are in fact still borrowing money from Barclays Bank because the Barclays Bank contract’s run into appointing 21, so we haven’t even paid for the BAE, Hawks yet.

So there are massive international consequences of this and I suppose one has to just look at what’s happening in the United States at the moment with Hilary Clinton getting into hot water, well more hot water than she’s already in again for a relationship that she has with that same company BAE Systems. It looks like the arms companies are very deeply involved in the political processes.

Yes. very deeply and particularly BAE and the British because the Al Yamamah deal that Andrew talked about was negotiated in 1985 between Margaret Thatcher and Prince Bandar but is an extraordinary agreement which cannot be investigated in Britain in terms of the Official Secrets Act so we get snippets of information here and there, but the guts of it was that Saudi Arabia would consign oil to the Bank of England, which then distributed it to KLM to BT and over the years a huge fund has developed under the administration of the Bank of England.

Its purpose is three-fold: To guarantee British and American support for the Saudi Royal Family against domestic insurrection, two to use the Saudi oil and Saudi’s dominant Opex to ensure that oil is priced in US Dollars. So someone like Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein starts mottling about wanting payment in Euros or gold or whatever, the next thing we have is regime change because the US Dollar is essentially in the Saudi oil standard instead of gold standard, was now in Saudi oil and so it is on cover, destabilisation of the resource rich countries in Asia and Africa, so Prince Bandar in his earlier days was the bad man who organised the [Afghan move Jagardim?] against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the early 1980’s which is of course morphed into Al Qaeda and Isis and, and, and.

Saudi Arabia puts huge amount of funding into destabilising countries from Boko Haram in Nigeria to elsewhere in Somalia and so forth, but no one in the United States or the UK has had the guts to challenge the role of the Saudi government implementing terrorism around the world because of this Al Yamama Contract that cannot be exposed in England under the Official Secrets Act, but which is now relating to Hilary Clinton because when BAE was fined $404mn and then $79mn, the norm would have been that BAE would be disbarred from contracting with the United States government.

BAE depends on the US for between 50 percent and 55 percent of the sales are into the United States and so apparently and there is investigation going on in the States in DC at the moment. The agreement was that BAE would be disbarred but that disbarment would be revoked immediately and that was done was done with approval and knowledge.

That documentation because of the associated press is now coming into the public domain. Terry, just to close off with, the implications of what we’ve seen with the Arms Procurement Deal, which as you say started a fairly modest figure and groove from that under R2bn to R70bn, the implications for the proposed nuclear deal, which again Andrew Feinstein says would make the Arms Deal look like a picnic, is he exaggerating?

No, we don’t know, but figures bandied about the Chilean Brand would certainly make the Arms Deal look like petty cash, so we would have even less transparency in it than we’ve had with the Arms Deal.

So these are ways for crooked politicians if I read you correctly, to feather their nests.

Yes, the armament industry’s notorious for this. This is how political parties fund themselves worldwide; it’s not unique to South Africa by any means. Tony Blair for instance was in BAE’s pocket and BAE and [Locks & Martin?] in the States and others; they make huge political connections and then hold the politicians to do the dirty work.

So they would also be there to benefit if a Tony Blair, as he did lie about weapons of mass destruction which of course long after the event is only now coming into the public domain.

Yes, so we need a war every three years to close out the old stock and research the new stock. It’s an actual war scenario.

Terribly cynical political established and I guess it’s not surprising that people are wising up to this and wanting to change the status quo. Just as far as South Africa’s concerned, you also mentioned in your affidavit that President Mbeki got a bribe of R30mn directly, R2mn of which went to Jacob Zuma, if the Constitutional Court accepts this surely those two gentlemen will end up behind bars.

One would hope but I wouldn’t put too much expectation on that, unfortunately. This is information that came out in 2008 with an investigation by Controlled Risks which is a British company who actually did come see me but is was exposed by the Sunday Times in August 2008 and it was a three-week series but [Ferrestar?], who handled the submarine programme had paid a bribe of R30mn to President Mbeki and that he gave R2mn to President Zuma, Jacob Zuma as was then, and the balance of R28mn to the ANC. So during the Sereti Commission hearings Advocate Paul Hoffman on my behalf challenged President Mbeki on this and finally got President Mbeki’s acknowledgement that Mr Tony Georgiades was another of these bagmen, so it was a long record who had in fact made donations to the ANC.

Aren’t you scared or aren’t you a little nervous about your own safety?

I think they’ve given up on me a long time ago. This is just this old white toppie who keeps making noises.

So not believing you or feeling that your credibility has been shot with the public?

I think they’ve tried that but I’ve become fairly thick-skinned I suppose, maybe I haven’t become thick-skinned but I’ve also reached my three score years and ten, so it’s not something that particularly hurts me.

From a broader perspective, what we’re seeing on FIFA which at one point in time was impregnable or apparently so, does that give you hope that maybe the real story, the truth will out here too?

I think yes, I believe that the world is on the cusp of huge changes, so that it now becomes possible through forensic auditing to track these things. It could never be done in the past and you can make the connection. So I’m hopeful that yes, the whole political institutions have got to change, but that the scale of corruption is just a calling and it’s creating a backlash amongst the average person who is now realising what the elite have done and I am hopeful that there will be a clean-up internationally. In the States and in England corruption is so institutionalised they don’t even know it’s corrupt.

For a deeper understanding of the world of money and greater financial control, upgrade to BizNews Premium.