Arms deal probe faces 'colossal task'

2013-08-19 12:17
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Pretoria - The Seriti Commission of Inquiry faces a colossal task in scrutinising government’s strategic defence procurement package (SDPP), evidence leader Tayob Aboobaker said on Monday.

Presenting his opening statement at the Tshwane Council Chambers in Pretoria, Aboobaker reiterated that the National Prosecuting Authority might prosecute individuals on the recommendation of the commission.

"It [the inquiry] is a process where those responsible for the SDPP, those who participated in its finalisation, are called to account for their actions. It is not a process by which they are brought to book, that would be part of a separate process in which the NPA may be called upon to take such action," he said.

Prosecution

"That process could well result in the prosecution of those individuals who the NPA in its wisdom finds that a proper case has been laid out for prosecution. Our mandate is to present all relevant information at our disposal."

The commission into the multi-billion rand arms deal, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti with Judge Thekiso Musi as a member, was postponed on 5 August after lawyers for the defence department said time was needed to decide how to proceed with declassifying documents relevant to the inquiry.

On 5 August, Seriti said he had received a draft of an urgent court application against the commission on 4 August.

One of the concerns raised was whether the commission could continue with only two commissioners, following the announcement of Judge Francis Legodi's resignation on 1 August.

The applicant, the defence department, believed the commission could not proceed with just two commissioners. Seriti said at the time that this was a decision President Jacob Zuma needed to make.

On 6 August, the presidency said the inquiry would continue as a two-man commission while Zuma considered whether to appoint a third member.

Read more on:    willie seriti  |  arms deal

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