ANC mum on arms deal

2011-09-19 12:55

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe declined to reveal today what the party’s executive had to say about a commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

“Seeing as [President Jacob] Zuma is the head of the country and that he was the one who asked for the inquiry, it would be more appropriate to engage with him about that,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe was briefing reporters at Luthuli House in downtown Joburg on the ANC’s national executive committee meeting, which took place over the weekend.

He said he did not know whether all ANC members were happy about the arms deal investigation.

“It is outside the ANC. I cannot say if members were happy or not.”

Zuma announced his decision on Thursday to set up a commission of inquiry into South Africa’s controversial multi-million rand arms deal.

The commission’s terms of reference still have to be released, and it is not yet known who will preside over inquiry.

Zuma faced several corruption charges related to the arms deal ahead of the Polokwane ANC national conference.

Judge Hilary Squires convicted Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik of bribery and corruption involving Zuma in 2005.

After a series of appeals, all of which failed, Shaik started a prison sentence in 2006. He was released on “medical parole” two years and four months later.

The National Prosecuting Authority dropped all counts against Zuma in April 2009 on technical grounds.

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