News24

'Come clean on arms deal'

2009-10-16 17:05

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance on Friday called on Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to reveal the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft acquisition details.

Information about the dodgy deal should be made public and investigated by a special multiparty ad hoc committee of Parliament, DA spokesperson David Maynier said.

On Thursday, Sisulu stated information about the deal should not have been made public because it was embarrassing and compromised diplomatic relations.

"But it now emerges that the minister was briefed and informed about the Airbus A400M deal.

"The fact is that the minister was informed and has known about the risk posed by the arms deal for months.

"The minister appears to be reverting to her default position which is to cover up rather than to open up," Maynier said.

Even more questions

The key question was why, if the minister knew about the massive risk posed by the deal, was the parliamentary portfolio committee on defence and military veterans not informed, he asked.

The latest revelations about the deal raised even more questions including whose interests were really served with revelations that Deputy Correctional Services Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize and former Major-General Jackie Sedibe were directors of Aerosud, a local company with an interest in the deal.

What was the real cost of the eight transport aircraft, given the Airbus claim that the R47bn price tag was exaggerated?

Why was there a failure to provide for maintenance costs of the transport aircraft, and why in the first place was there no tender process for the acquisition of the aircraft, Maynier asked.

"The public has a right to know not only how we got into the Airbus A400M mess, but also how we are going to dig ourselves out of the Airbus A400M mess.

"That is why we need to urgently establish a multiparty ad hoc parliamentary committee to investigate the Airbus A400M arms deal," Maynier said.