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DEPUTY President Kgalema Motlanthe's partner, Gugu Mtshali, has been implicated in soliciting a R104-million "bribe" to obtain government support for a South African company trying to clinch a R2-billion sanctions-busting deal with Iran.
The plan, which ultimately collapsed, would have seen a politically connected South African front company, set up by 360 Aviation, win a five-year contract worth at least R450-million a year to supply US-made Bell helicopters and parts to the National Iranian Oil Company.
Crucially, aviation experts say, many Bell spare parts can be used in Iranian attack helicopters, potentially bolstering Iranian military firepower. The new deal would also have led to South Africa violating its UN Security Council obligation: a 2010 resolution prohibited member states from supplying military-related products.