Canadian multinational Bombardier Transportation, is accused of paying a bribe to win a Gauteng Rapid-Rail System tender worth 26bn Rand in 2005.
Over a quarter of a billion rand was allegedly paid as “commission” to a Tunisian arms and projects agent, Mr Youssef Zarrouk.
Both Mr Zarrouk and Bombardier deny bribery, although Mr Zarrouk admits to receiving millions of dollars from Bombardier as its “agent”.
Bombardier defended its approach by saying: “Bombardier does not condone making any payments to win contracts. Bombardier maintains and will continue to maintain the highest standards of ethical behaviour in all of our dealings worldwide. We have a strict code of conduct. We follow local and international laws and regulations in every country in which we operate”.
It has been observed that the Bombardier case echoes the controversial BAE Systems bribery case. Similarities include like-worded agency contracts, large offshore payments and a connected group of characters.