Black First Land First (BLF) will today lay charges against Nicky Oppenheimer and his son Jonathan Oppenheimer of fraud, bribery and corruption in that they had illegally acquired an international airport terminal inside the O.R Tambo International Airport.
Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer (the Oppenheimers) own the private international airport terminal called Fireblade Aviation located inside O.R Tambo International Airport.
Fireblade Aviation has already confirmed that a meeting was held between the Oppenheimers and the African National Congress (ANC) about the former’s bid for approval to set up and operate a private international terminal inside the OR Tambo International Airport.
To this end a letter penned in 2015 by the then ANC general manager Ignatius Jacobs confirms that the Oppenheimer’s Fireblade Aviation had “met the necessary requirements” and would therefore be granted permission for the terminal’; and that the deal was approved by the Department of Home Affairs, two months later.
Evidently, the ANC had assured Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer that approval to set up the private international terminal at OR Tambo International Airport would be granted by the government. In this regard the subsequent ‘approval’ by the Department of Home Affairs was a mere formality.
Crucial questions have arisen from the existence of the letter written by Ignatius Jacob, viz: what authority did the ANC have in an issue that is government regulated? Furthermore, why would the Oppenheimer-owned business need to consult the ANC on the requirements of establishing and operating the said business? In this regard the claim by the Fireblade Aviation director, Robbie Irons, that the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) was the “first of its kind” in the country and that this “meant that ascertaining the requirements to be met and the approvals to be secured was an exploratory process” – is clear evidence that Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer took the law into their own hands by meeting with and canvassing the ANC.
It is evident that what is supposed to be a strictly government regulated process had been sidestepped by the Oppenheimers when they approached the ANC to secure a dodgy deal instead.
This further suggests that the Oppenheimers had induced the ANC to influence government’s decision on the matter via fraud, corruption and bribery. Moreover it indicates that the Oppenheimers’ illegal acquisition of the international private airport inside a national key point amounts to state capture via the criminal actions of the said Oppenheimers.
BLF will request the SAPS to conduct the necessary investigations and refer the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with a view to prosecuting the Oppenheimers. The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) of the NPA must also do their job in obtaining a preservation order on the assets of Fireblade Aviation pending the outcome of the prosecution against the Oppenheimers.
The evidence that Fireblade Aviation is an illegal airport is overwhelming. BLF calls for swift action to be taken by the authorities concerned including the SAPS, the NPA and government to shut it down!
BLF shall lay criminal charges against Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer of fraud, bribery and corruption under the following details:
Date: 30 October 2018
Venue: Cape Town Central SAPS
28 Buitekant Street
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
30 October 2018
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