Questions raised over SA’s R1.2b spy satellite

MPs have called on the defence minister to give details on SA’s R1.2b contract for a spy satellite.

MPs have called on Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to give details on SA’s R1.2b contract for a spy satellite. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Opposition parties are calling on Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to give details about South Africa's contract with a Russian company for a 'spy in the sky' satellite.

It emerged at the weekend that South Africa's defence intelligence entered a R1.2 billion contract for a Kondor-E radar imaging satellite eight years ago.

The Defence Department has refused to comment, saying the project is classified.

But opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) say the public deserves answers about the plan, which was dubbed 'Project Flute'.

Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow Defence Minister David Maynier says, "What we are after is not necessarily technical details about the capabilities, but rather details about possible procurement regularities and corrupt activities in Project Flute."

African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Cheryllyn Dudley says the defence minister should clarify the matter.

"The ACDP has called on the defence minister to account for the spending and to clarify the situation regarding this alleged development and existence of a secret spy satellite."