Fana Hlongwane among arms deal witnesses

2012-11-24 13:31

Fana Hlongwane, arms deal “playboy” and former adviser to the late defence minister Joe Modise, is on the list of witnesses to be called by the Arms Procurement Commission.

The names were announced in Pretoria today.

They are David Maynier, Patricia de Lille, Major General Hans Meiring, Colonel Johan du Plooy, Paul Hoffman, Terry Crawford-Browne, Dr Richard Young, Gavin Woods, Andrew Woods, Andrew Feinstein, Paul Holden, Raenette Taljaard, and Fana Hlongwane.

Maynier is a Democratic Alliance MP and Du Plooy and Meiring are part of the Hawks. Crawford-Browne, a retired banker, has spent years trying to get an independent inquiry into the arms deal established. Feinstein, is a former ANC MP.

Hlongwane was paid more than R200 million by BAE Systems for assisting them in winning arms deal contracts and managing their offset projects in the country.

Chairperson of the Arms Deal Commission Judge Willie Seriti announced the list.

He said letters to notify the witnesses were sent out yesterday.

They would appear before the commission during public hearing to be held at the council chambers at the Sammy Marks Conference Centre in Pretoria between March 4 and May 31.

“We do have the power to subpoena,” Seriti said.

“A failure to comply with that subpoena might surmount to criminal offence.”

In October 2011 President Jacob Zuma announced that Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Seriti would chair the three-man commission of inquiry, flanked by judges Willem van der Merwe and Francis Legodi.

The deal, which was initially estimated to cost R43 million, has dogged South Africa’s politics since it was signed in 1999, after then Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia de Lille raised allegations of corruption in Parliament.

Zuma himself was once charged with corruption after his financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who had a tender to supply part of the requirements, was found to have facilitated a bribe for him from a French arms company.

The charges against Zuma were later dropped.

» Read more in City Press on Sunday.

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