Arms deal plans began in the 80s – Crawford-Browne

2014-10-09 21:33

Deliberations to purchase weapons, which later became the arms deal, started before ANC came to power in 1994, the Seriti Commission of Inquiry heard today.

"It is pointed out in an article that Mr (Joe) Modise accompanied the CEO of Armscor to arms exhibitions before the transition. It is suggested this kind of contact started in the 80s," arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne said at the inquiry in Pretoria.

He said there was evidence showing that in the early 80s, there were considerations to buy the weaponry.

"There were connections long before the transition. The contact between members of the ANC, particularly Mr Modise, [and arms manufacturers] long preceded even the unbanning of the ANC, let alone the actual transition," said Crawford-Browne.

"It was long before the preferred bidders were announced in November 1998. Corruption is always involved in arms deals."

He said the association between members of the African National Congress (ANC) during the fight against apartheid later gave birth to the 1999 arms deal.

He made the explanation to fortify his earlier submission that the Hani assassination should be probed again.

"That almost tore the country apart and there have been horrendous allegations around inquiries, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, have not been able to resolve," said Terry Crawford-Browne.

"There have been allegations made to me and others linking Mr (Joe) Modise to that assassination. There are allegations that it was done in conjunction with British aerospace through Rhodesian operatives and the white right-wing Mr Clive Derby-Lewis was simply a useful idiot."

He said if the matter was not dealt with, it would keep rearing its head.

Crawford-Browne was cross-examined at the inquiry by Marumo Moerane who represents several parties, including former president Thabo Mbeki, former defence minister Modise's family, and former finance minister Trevor Manuel.

"When it comes to arguing on the cogency of the evidence that you have given, it would be fair to argue that this commission should totally ignore your testimony because it is not grounded on fact but on speculation, opinion and rumour," said Moerane.

Crawford-Browne responded: "If that is what the commission wishes to do per your recommendation, I am afraid it will only compound the commission's already fragile credibility".

He said conspiracies linking Modise to the murder of SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani were in the public domain and were discussed at SACP gatherings.

"I have heard about it from numerous sources. At one SACP meeting [former] president Mbeki was harangued by people saying "Thabo tell us who killed Chris Hani," said Crawford-Browne.

He said the rumours created a wave of instability in the country.

"I am not wanting to fan rumours, but when these things occur, they must be addressed and investigated thoroughly," said Crawford-Browne.

This week, Crawford-Browne told the inquiry that Modise was poisoned.

"I was told by Bheki Jacobs six weeks before Mr Modise died that he was being poisoned, and that his death would be ascribed to cancer," he said.

"Mr Modise was known to have many enemies and it is also known there was considerable animosity between him and Mr Chris Hani dating from their times in exile."

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.