DTI faces more questions on Iran deal

An audit on the DTI issuing letters of support to a firm selling helicopters to Iran has been completed.

The DTI may have placed SA at risk of breaking sanctions against Iran enforced by the UN. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is facing more questions about how it issued letters of support for a company selling helicopters to Iran.

The firm, 360 Aviation, tried to involve Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe's romantic partner, Gugu Mtshali, in the deal that would have made the woman and her associates R104 million richer.

The Sunday Times reported last week that an independent audit report found the DTI may have placed South Africa at risk of breaking sanctions enforced by the United Nations by issuing the letters.

According to the paper, the Grant Thornton report found the deal was not in the interest of South Africa and its people and that DTI officials acted grossly negligent by providing a government support letter to the firm for the R2 billion deal.

The report was prompted by a legal application for information about the letters by Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

He said the report asked serious questions about the department.

"There does not seem to be any proper control of the various divisions and sections within DTI".

Maynier wants to know how the letters were issued without any senior officials in the department being consulted.

The ministry itself is investigating that.

Sanctions were imposed by the United Nations following Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Meanwhile, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Monday said she was concluding her provisional report into the helicopter deal and would release it on Tuesday.

"We were quality assuring it last week and we finishing the process this morning".