The official told AFP that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called his President Jacob Zuma to inform him about the purchase and Abuja was, therefore, surprised to learn that the deal had been blocked.
Spokesperson Mac Maharaj had no comment on the reported conversation between the two leaders, but told AFP “the president is not a part of [the] committee” that reviews arms deals.
The NSA official did not identify the South African broker or specify what weapons Nigeria was trying to buy.
The Atiku Connection
Meanwhile, BREAKING TIMES exclusively gathered from an inside source in the South African government that President Jacob Zuma had promised to fund the Nigerian opposition APC if Atiku got the party’s presidential ticket.
He disclosed this to APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu when Atiku, Tinubu and other APC chieftains paid President Zuma a visit in South Africa a few weeks ago. This, the source disclosed, may not be unconnected with the ongoing diplomatic squabble with South Africa over a legitimately authorized arms deal by the Nigerian government.
Atiku and President Zuma share a close long-standing friendship dating back to when Atiku was Nigeria’s Vice-President.
The City Press named the broker as the Cape Town-based Cerberus Risk Solutions but that could not be independently verified.
The development comes roughly three weeks after customs officials seized $9.3m in cash stashed in the luggage of two Nigerians and an Israeli.
The NPA said there was evidence indicating those funds were intended to purchase armaments to be used in Nigeria.
The Nigerian security official declined to comment on whether the cash found in the plane last month was part of a weapons purchase, but insisted the R63.8m deal frozen by South Africa was a legal arms “transaction through a bank”.
Nigerian lawmakers last month approved a request from Jonathan for a more than $1bn loan to fight Boko Haram extremists.
Analysts saw the Jonathan’s request as a tacit acknowledgement that the military is overmatched against the Islamists, who are thought to control more than two dozen towns and villages in the embattled northeast.
Troops have refused to deploy for offensives against the insurgents on grounds that they lack proper equipment.