Hard to believe arms deal was clean - Woods

2014-09-02 12:58
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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Pretoria - It is hard to believe the arms deal in 1999 was different to that of many other countries and free of corruption, former Scopa chairperson Gavin Woods said on Tuesday.

Woods said the government had been adamant there was no corruption in the multi-billion rand deal.

"I question how they could have been so sure," Woods told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria.

Woods said government "displayed anxiety" when discussions of a probe surfaced, which contradicted its confident stance.

Sabotage

"They went to extraordinary lengths to sabotage the investigations," he said.

Woods, an Inkatha Freedom Party MP, resigned from his position as chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) in 2002.

At the time Woods said 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 then deputy president Jacob Zuma.

The commission, sitting in Pretoria, was established by Zuma in 2011 to probe alleged 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, frigates and submarines for the navy.

Read more on:    arms deal  |  corruption

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