Arms deal commission proceeds with 2 members

2013-08-19 12:29

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The arms deal commission hearings started swiftly this morning with Judge Willie Seriti announcing the president had decided the commission would carry on with only two members.

This comes after the presidency announced two weeks ago that President Jacob Zuma would consider appointing a third person following the resignation of Judge Francis Legodi.

Today, evidence leaders Tayob Aboobaker and Matshego Ramagaga addressed the commission. Aboobaker made reference to how the media and members of the public had heavily criticised the commission for its slow progress.

“(The) commission has come under extensive fire from the media and the public, that’s how it should be,” he said.

He also said, because of the extensive number of classified documents, some evidence would be led in camera even though he believes as much evidence as possible should be publicly scrutinised.

He said the life span of the commission was supposed to be two years, but in light of the circumstances he had no doubt that an extension would be granted.

The second phase of the commission is set to start on January 31 2014 where evidence will be led by the critics of the arms deal.

Terry Crawford Browne, Patricia de Lille and Andrew Feinstein are among those set to testify in this phase.

Evidence led would include how the 65?000 jobs which were supposed to be created never materialised.

The commission will hear the first testimony tomorrow morning at 9.30am.

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