Arms deal commission dismisses LHR complaint

2014-05-30 07:24
Willie Seriti (Picture: Sapa)

Willie Seriti (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Admiral Jonathan Kamerman did not get preferential treatment when he testified at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the 1999 arms deal, the commission said on Thursday.

The commission was responding to Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), who said on Wednesday they were prevented from cross-examining Kamerman.

"The LHR's complaint is that Mr Kamerman was given preferential treatment because he had been given copies of the submissions made by their client to the Commission," spokesperson William Baloyi said.

"This complaint is rather disingenuous. Firstly, the LHR had been given copies of the statement of this witness and the question is why should the submissions of their clients not be made available to him.

"Secondly, the submissions made by their clients contain serious allegations levelled at Mr Kamerman and it is only logical that he had to be made aware of these so that he could respond thereto."

Baloyi said Kamerman's statement was signed the day before he testified and only became available the morning he testified.

He said it often happened and this was not an exception.

765 pages of evidence

The LHR represents Andrew Feinstein, Hennie van Vuuren and Paul Holden, who have written books about the multi-billion rand arms deal.

The LHR said it was given one day to consider Kamerman's 765-page evidence, which made preparation and conducting a proper cross-examination impossible.

"The LHR was hindered this week from effectively cross-examining Rear Admiral Jonathan Kamerman on his technical knowledge of the purchase of corvettes forming part of arms deal, and allegations of corruption against him," the lawyers said in a statement on Wednesday.

Baloyi said the LHR were afforded time like everyone else to cross-examine Kamerman, but were not ready to do so.

He said the LHR had in the past requested more time to prepare and had been allowed to do so.

"What the Commission did not allow was for [their counsel] to read a pre-prepared document that has turned out to be a media statement released to the media," he said.

"It became clear to the Commission that a prior decision had been taken not to cross-examine and to come up with an excuse for not doing so. It is an approach that the LHR has adopted in the past."

He said parties were free to ask for more time to prepare and each request would be treated on its own merit.

Baloyi said classified documents could only be made available to interested parties once declassified and the LHR had requested documents that had not been declassified.


The inquiry adjourned on Tuesday and was postponed to Monday for the testimony of former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils.

The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, is tasked with investigating alleged corruption in the multi-billion rand deal.

The government acquired, among other items, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the SA Air Force, and frigates and submarines for the SA Navy.

Read more on:    arms deal

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Nothing, and we mean nothing, will keep goalkeeper Scott Stirling from stopping the ball!

Hottie of the day: Jesselyn
This invention makes farts smell like chocolate!
11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Helpdesk Manager

Cape Town CBD
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Johannesburg
R45+ Per Month

Sales Manager

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Blackbird Group PTY (Ltd)

Senior C# Developers

Cape Town
E-Merge IT Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


Grandiose ideas and plans can trip you up today. Keep things in context and take one step at a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.