Arms deal witnesses announced

2012-11-24 19:00

Pretoria - The list of witnesses to be called by the Arms Procurement Commission was announced in Pretoria on Saturday.

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, while Hlongwane is alleged to have been a kingpin during the arms deal.

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

He said letters to notify the witnesses were sent out on Friday.

'Power to subpoena'

They would appear before the commission during public hearings 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 offense."

He said a person who was subpoenaed was compelled to appear before the commission. However there was a clause which meant evidence could not be used in criminal prosecution.

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.

Public submissions

Seriti also announced on Saturday the committee has almost completed the second phase of its work.

During this phase it issued requests for information to various government institutions and departments including the directorate of priority crime investigation, the national prosecuting authority, parliament, and cabinet.

He said requests were also made to financial institutions. Calls were also made for public submissions. These should have been submitted by July 30.

"The call for public submissions was disappointingly poor," Seriti said. The commission only received seven.

"By contrast almost all government entities have thus far co-operated with the commission and have provided us with the documentation and information we requested."

Process ongoing

Letters of request for information, evidence and/or meetings were sent to entities in Germany, Liechtenstein, Sweden and Britain, Seriti said.

"They all graciously agreed to meet with the representatives of the commission and those meetings were held in June and August 2012 and were extremely helpful."

He said the process was ongoing.

"Currently, approximately 4.5 million pages of documentation have been lodged with and analysed by the commission."

He said the information gathered in the second phase put the commission in a much better position to commence with the public hearings.

"We understood from the beginning that the public hearings would be a high point mark of the commission's work and needed to be able to plan for them," Seriti said.

These hearings would be conducted in phases.

In the first phase the commission would deal with the allegations of irregularities and wrongdoing that have been made in the public space for years, he said.

The witnesses called have been selected to testify on aspects of these matters.

A losing bidder

"Most are people who have played prominent roles in exposing the allegations and/or have campaigned to compel the government to institute a commission to inquire into the allegations."

He said the list also included a losing bidder for one of the arms procurement sub-contracts and a person whose name features in most allegations as a possible beneficiary of the arms procurement process.

"At the conclusion of the first phase of the public hearings the commission will adjourn in order to analyse and assess the evidence thus far and make provisional factual findings thereof to be incorporated in our next interim report."

Commissioner Judge Thekiso Musi concluded by saying: "The programme we have outlined here is not cast in stone".



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


An uncomfortable election

The latter few weeks of election 2014, have seen South Africans reeling from an assault on their comfort zone when it comes to voting, writes Daniel Silke


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid 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

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow 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.