Government officials “placed South Africa at risk” of breaking United Nations sanctions, according to reports on Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that an audit report found the risk was related to when officials issued letters of support to a company trying to sell helicopters to Iran.

The Grant Thornton report, commissioned by the department of trade and industry (DTI), is independent proof that officials delivered on their side of a deal to obtain political support for the company 360 Aviation, the newspaper reported.

The report was obtained by the Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier through a Promotion of Access to Information request.

Irregularities were found in how the DTI letters were issued and the report also recommends disciplinary action against officials involved, the Sunday Times reported.

In March, the DTI said it was conducting an investigation into the supply of letters of support to a company doing business with Iran after the department issued a letter of support on April 12, 2011 to 360 Aviation.

Maynier told the newspaper that the report highlighted the need for a policy review on the whole questions of letters of support that made the DTI vulnerable to corruption.

DTI spokesman Sidwell Medupe confirmed that the report was submitted to the public protector, the Sunday Times reported. - Sapa