EDC backed Bombardier sale to Zuma allies accused of corruption

(Globe & Mail, Johannesburg, 3 August 2017) The Canadian government's export agency gave $41-million (U.S.) in financing to help Bombardier Inc. sell a luxury jet to the controversial tycoons at the heart of a South African scandal over alleged high-level corruption, leaked e-mails show. Export Development Canada, a Crown corporation, provided the money to a company owned by the Gupta family to help it buy a $52-million Global 6000 jet from Bombardier, the e-mails show. The powerful Gupta family, which has close connections to South African President Jacob Zuma and a business partnership with the President's son, is embroiled in an escalating scandal over widespread allegations of corruption and political influence. The scandal has forced Mr. Zuma to face a non-confidence vote in Parliament on Aug. 8. Critics are asking how the $41-million (U.S.) financing deal was authorized by Export Development Canada, since the borrowers – the politically powerful Gupta family of South Africa – have been surrounded by corruption allegations and investigations for the past seven years. But EDC says it cannot explain anything about the transaction.