Former Scopa chair to testify at Seriti Commission

2014-09-02 06:22
The commission is investigating allegations of corruption in the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. (AFP)

The commission is investigating allegations of corruption in the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. (AFP)

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Johannesburg - Former chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) Gavin Woods is expected to testify at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry on Tuesday.

Woods, who was an Inkatha Freedom Party MP, resigned from his position as chairperson of the key watchdog committee in 2002.

Upon his resignation, Woods released papers stating that he was stepping down due to interference in Scopa's work by Cabinet ministers, former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni, former national assembly speaker Frene Ginwala and President Jacob Zuma who was the deputy president of the country at the time.

Woods also claimed that Scopa was prevented from ensuring that the public's concerns over the arms deal was properly looked into.

His testimony was expected to be concluded in two days.

The Seriti Commission of Inquiry, sitting in Pretoria, was established by Zuma in October 2011 to probe allegations of corruption in the arms procurement deal.

Government acquired, among other hardware, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, and frigates and submarines for the navy.

Meanwhile, three arms deal critics announced last week that they wanted to withdraw from the commission, claiming that its primary outcome would be to cover up.

Commission spokesperson William Baloyi said their withdrawal was being considered but indicated that if their approach was to be followed, the commission would sit until 2016.

Read more on:    scopa  |  tony yengeni  |  frene ginwala  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  arms deal

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