No facts to support arms deal allegations - Mbeki

2014-07-18 05:00
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - For the past 16 years, there have been no facts supporting allegations of mismanagement in the arms deal, former president Thabo Mbeki told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.

"There is this huge volume of work which has been done," he said referring to investigations conducted by the state.

"I kept saying if anybody's got evidence, despite all these investigations taking place... where is this evidence? To this day there have been allegations plenty but for 16 years no one has produced fact."

Mbeki said he was aware of all the allegations of bribery and corruption surrounding the deal but neither Cabinet nor the inter-ministerial task team took decisions in a corrupt manner.

"Please produce something which would justify this commission," he said.

Mbeki was being cross-examined by Paul Hoffman for anti-arms deal campaigner Terry Crawford-Browne.

The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the country's multi-billion-rand arms procurement deal in 1999.

Mbeki was president of the country at the time and Zuma his deputy.

Former finance minister Trevor Manuel, former defence minister Mosiuoa Lekota and former public enterprise minister Alec Erwin attended the commission on Thursday. The three, who were part of Mbeki's Cabinet, sat behind the former president at the commission.

Mbeki's wife Zanele was also present.

‘Devil in the Detail’

Most of Hoffman's cross-examination on Thursday was based on the chronological order of the arms procurement deal.

The lawyer sat with a copy of a book on the arms deal, Devil in the Detail, authored by Paul Holden.

He asked Mbeki questions based on information in the book, to which the former president answered many a time that he did not remember.

Hoffman and Mbeki also came to loggerheads during the afternoon session.

The former president earlier got irritated with Hoffman for making what he called offensive comments.

Later he again accused Hoffman of being condescending.

This prompted Hoffman to break down in front of the commission and explain that he was on heavy medication because his daughter had committed suicide last month.

"So forgive me for irritating you and talking down to you," he said addressing Mbeki.

"I have respect for you and what you did to get us [the country] here," he said while sobbing.

Mbeki said he accepted Hoffman's apology and offered any support he could to the lawyer at this difficult time.

Once the commission had adjourned for the day Mbeki approached Hoffman, shook his hand and offered his condolences.

Lawyers for Human Rights will cross-examine Mbeki on Friday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    thabo mbeki  |  pretoria  |  arms deal
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
34 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.