Sunday, November 01, 2009

More BEE honey anyone?

Bears, bees, honey, ha ha too much.. But seriously, from teddy bears to military planes? And isn't BEE for blacks? The name Ichikowitz doesn't sound very African to me.

Full marks to Cosatu on new "arms deal scandal"

The high flying ANC comrades
- The arms dealer who flies Zuma, Ivor Ichikowitz, the arms and oil broker who laid on his company jet to ferry Nelson Mandela to a Jacob Zuma election rally in Transkei, has made a career from turning political connections into profit.

Cosatu 'outraged' over new arms costs - Cosatu has called for a full investigation into the A400M military transport plane deal, which will reportedly cost the taxpayer an extra R30 billion.

An arms dealer who holds the local franchise for the Build-a-Bear Workshop has bought the "black empowerment" shares in military aviation company Aerosud, one of South Africa's two "risk partners" in the manufacturing of Europe's A400M Airbus.

Aerosud has confirmed that Ivor Ichikowitz,
an arms and oil broker who has flown Nelson Mandela and President Jacob Zuma around for free, has acquired a 19 percent stake in the company.

The deal was done through a holding company called Friedshelf 1000, part of Ichikowitz's international aerospace company, the Paramount Group. Paramount is registered in Cyprus and South Africa.

Ichikowitz, 43, is a Joburg businessman who has business interests ranging from dealing in and remanufacturing military materiel to soft toys.

The selling off of shares by BEE group Phatsima was revealed by Weekend Argus last week - just as the government entered urgent renegotiations with Airbus, threatening a possible cancellation of its order of eight of the planes. It is believed that the Phatisma/ Friedshelf shares transaction was worth about R24 million.

Phatsima chairman Herman Mashaba bought into Aerosud in 2005 soon after the government signed the industrial participation deal with the Airbus Military consortium. His partners included National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, Ronnie Mamoepa, now the spokesman for the Home Affairs Ministry, and Titus Mafolo, a former presidential adviser.

Government empowerment economic policies require a BEE component in state-backed joint-venture deals.

Ichikowitz made headlines earlier this year when he confirmed that he had paid for a flight to take Mandela to a rally in the Eastern Cape just before the April elections where he appeared on stage with Zuma.

Last year he flew Zuma to Lebanon and Kazakhstan for meetings in his capacity as ANC president at an estimated cost of more than R5m.

Weekend Argus revealed last week that the Phatisma partners acquired the Aerosud stake via shares warehoused by the parastatal Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which held them on behalf of Aerosud Aviation.

As a result, Aerosud's black participation profile rose to 28 percent, on paper at least.

This week Aerosud Aviation and Aerosud Holdings chairman Paul Potgieter and a Mashaba spokesman confirmed that Paramount was the new Aerosud partner.

Potgieter said he was not aware that Ichikowitz had been named in a First Consulting forensic investigation ordered by the Department of Defence in 2005.

This was in connection with a breach of weapons export regulations and legislation, which included infractions of the National Conventional Arms Control Act. The report had recommended further investigations and possibly prosecution.

Potgieter said: "I am not aware of that, but even if I was, I would not have reacted in the absence of formal findings anyway.

"Our business relationship with Paramount has been very extensive for some years already.

"Aerosud has always been and will always be highly selective of its partners, and I have the sincere conviction that they are partners with integrity."

The Paramount Group yesterday confirmed its acquisition of a stake, slightly over 19% in Aerosud and said Friedshelf 1000 belonged to an affiliated holding company, Ichikowitz was one of two directors and that they would not disclose the price.

Ichikowitz said Paramount learned of the First Consulting forensic investigation only through media reports and had never seen the report, nor was it aware of any allegations other than those reported in the media. If there were any issues involving either Mr Ichikowitz or Paramount Group, the Department of Defence would have been expected to act on them at the time.

He added Paramount Group had "never been in breach of any regulation or law pertaining to its business in the defence industry" and was not aware of any follow-up investigation and had never been approached on this matter by the authorities and therefore assumed there was no follow-up. - Cape Argus

3 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

And there was deafening silence from the ANC.....Just how corrupt is this government?

Pensioner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pensioner said...

The bee he is a busy soul, he has no time for birth control;)