Arms deal hearing postponed

2013-02-26 21:39
(Picture: <a href=\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

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

Johannesburg - Public hearings on South Africa's multi-million rand arms deal have been postponed, the Arms Procurement Commission said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson William Baloyi said the hearings, which were scheduled to start on 4 March, had been moved to 5 August.

The delays were because of developments in the investigation.

Baloyi said hefty documents not seen previously by evidence leaders and the commission had been presented by witnesses.

"There is insufficient time to peruse and analyse these, supplement the commission’s bundles, consult with the witnesses in respect of such documents and deal with the issues arising there from," he said.

Baloyi said witnesses had also been making allegations against other individuals and entities.

"The adjournment will enable the investigations relating to these and other allegations to be completed, and adequate notice to be given to all implicated persons," he said.

The commission was also still awaiting reports from specialist investigators.

The arms deal commission was instigated by President Jacob Zuma.

In October 2011, Zuma announced that Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Willie Seriti would chair the three-man commission of inquiry, assisted by judges Hendrick Musi and Francis Legodi.

In January, one of the commission's senior investigators, lawyer Norman Moabi, accused it of having a second agenda.

Moabi, a former acting judge from Pretoria, alleged in a letter leaked to media that the commission was not transparent and concealed a "second agenda".

Moabi wrote in the letter, addressed to Seriti, that he was resigning because of interference and because he had lost faith in the commission's work.

According to Moabi, Seriti ruled the commission with an iron fist.

He claimed facts were manipulated or withheld from commissioners.

Contributions from commissioners not pursuing the "second agenda" were frequently ignored, he alleged.


Seriti challenged Moabi to provide proof of his claims.

Initially, Judge Willem van der Merwe - the judge who acquitted Zuma on a rape charge - was appointed to help Seriti, alongside Legodi.

However, in December 2011, the presidency said Van der Merwe would not be able to serve on the commission, for personal reasons.

Zuma then appointed Free State High Court Judge President Musi to replace Van der Merwe.

In May 2012, commission secretary Mvuseni Ngubane was found dead in his car in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

Police said a suicide note was found near the body, but parts of it were illegible because of blood stains. It was thus not clear why he committed suicide.

Ngubane would have been responsible for managing the commission's budget and ensuring it had administrative support.

The multi-million rand arms deal 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 was himself 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.

Join the conversation! 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.
Read more on:    mvuseni ngubane  |  willem van der merwe  |  jacob zuma  |  william baloyi  |  willie seriti  |  johannesburg  |  military 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

UK expert: Boks ‘have KO game’
Ireland hold on to down Italy
As it happened: Ireland 16-9 Italy
All Blacks sympathise with England
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy 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.