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ConCourt arms deal case withdrawn

2011-11-17 11:39

Johannesburg - An application to compel an inquiry into the controversial arms deal was formally withdrawn in the Constitutional Court on Wednesday.

"The applicant is granted leave to withdraw," Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said of the bid by retired banker Terry Crawford-Browne, to force President Jacob Zuma and the government to appoint an independent inquiry into the multi-billion rand deal.

The order followed Zuma's announcement in September that he had decided to appoint a commission of inquiry into the deal, which has been dogged by allegations of corruption and bribery.

The order granted on Thursday was that the president and the government pay the costs of two counsel for Crawford-Browne for their services until Thursday.

Costs

They also had to pay costs encountered because of a postponement of the matter on May 5, and the costs of all interlocutory applications filed on record.

The president and the government were furthermore to pay the party-to-party costs of the friend of the court - the SA Institute of Race Relations.

This was to include costs of two counsel, costs wasted when the matter was postponed on May 5 and the costs in all interlocutory applications filed on record in the matter in which the friend of the court was involved.

Crawford-Browne initially approached the court to direct Zuma to appoint an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the deal, but it was postponed when it was originally set down for May 5.

When Zuma announced in September that a commission of inquiry would be set up, Crawford-Browne said he was unhappy with its terms of reference and would push ahead with his Constitutional Court action.

He said there were problems in how the terms referred to inquiries around offset payments to civilians.

His attorney later informed the court that he and the respondents had settled the matter.

Thursday's proceedings were to formally withdraw Crawford-Browne's application.

Comments
  • Felix - 2011-11-17 11:49

    Greased the palm?

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 11:59

      Crawford was going to use the Concourt to compel Zuma and the ANC to set up a commission to properly investigate the arms scandal. since Zuma has proceeded to do that now, the Concourt motion isnt necessary anymore

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 12:01

      and to think some people think Zuma and the ANC are doing the honorable thing by setting up the arms investigative commission now. NO ! they were taking pre-emptive action before being forced to kicking and screaming by Crawford's Concourt motion. we should all be extremely grateful for Crawford's commitment to justice and accountability

      Robert - 2011-11-17 12:03

      No, I think he didn't want to stay fighting a battle with mounting costs. Hopefully this commission will give some answers to the SA public.

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 12:05

      But Ryan, will it be done in a proper manner. One always wonders when the "problems" seem to go away gently - especially when there are billions involved. This issue has been dragging for ever!

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 12:08

      Robert thats idiotic. you dont use the court to force someone to do something when they have already undertaken to do it. (Zuma recently announced he would set up the Arms Commission if you didnt know).Crawford's threat has already forced Zuma's hand

      Christelle - 2011-11-17 12:08

      Apologies Ryan - I did not see your second post.

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 12:14

      Christelle, Im not sure about the scope and terms of reference. but i hope that its transparent and answers all our questions. lets see. Im not sure how much else the Concourt could have stipulated anyway

      Felix - 2011-11-17 12:16

      "When Zuma announced in September that a commission of inquiry would be set up, Crawford-Browne said he was unhappy with its terms of reference and would push ahead with his Constitutional Court action. He said there were problems in how the terms referred to inquiries around offset payments to civilians. His attorney later informed the court that he and the respondents had settled the matter" I agree with you Ryan, this quote just made me worry. Has Zuma agreed to have an independent enquiry and amended these discrepancies?

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 12:30

      ya Felix, I dont know the details. will look into it. but Crawford seems like quite a savvy and standup guy, so i assume that since he has dropped the Concourt motion he is satisfied with the process. OR maybe him and everyone else are going to watch how this all unfolds until the end before making any potential further moves

  • Michael - 2011-11-17 11:52

    very, very suspicious indeed. Crawford, dude, I hope you haven't been sucked into this filth my china. If you didn't, please tell South Africa the details. If you did, and people find out, you don't have blue light brigades to protect you. If you did, use that money to leave SA. Now.

  • djmain1 - 2011-11-17 12:19

    What about the issue of sitting judges chairing this commission? Thought the argument was that if these judges chaired commission instead of retired judges, then this may be a loophole to ignore the findings in 2 years time when the commission wraps up its work. Thought that was the reason why Terry still wanted a ConCourt hearing.

      Ryan - 2011-11-17 12:32

      interesting. dont know. maybe its all been squared.

  • Henri - 2011-11-17 12:35

    Wow and no-one saw this coming, well done !!!!

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