State entities set to justify arms deal

2013-08-19 14:03
Judge William Seriti. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

Judge William Seriti. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

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

Pretoria - Several government entities will make presentations in the initial phase of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal, evidence leader Matshego Ramagaga said on Monday.

"The evidence to be presented during this first phase will be limited to the terms of reference [of the commission] which deals with the rationale, utilisation, and the offsets, including jobs [from the arms deal]," she said in Pretoria.

"The commission intends to lead the evidence of government departments and entities in the first part of the first phase and also the evidence of those witnesses who criticised the armaments acquisition in the second part of the first phase."

Ramagaga said the defence and military veterans department, arms procurement parastatal Armscor, and the National Treasury would make presentations on the rationale behind the armaments acquisition.

The SA Navy, SA Air Force, and Armscor would address the commission on the utilisation or non-utilisation of the equipment.

The trade and industry department would give evidence on the "realisation of job opportunities and the offsets anticipated to flow" from the arms deal.

Second phase

Earlier, another evidence leader Tayob Aboobaker, SC, outlined the commission's processes, saying the second phase would start after January next year.

He said at this stage people could just speculate on what the findings of the commission would be.

"The first phase of the commission deals with the executive justification for the strategic defence procurement package and the second phase is, inter alia, with the attack of critics of this justification.

"The scope of the second phase is potentially much wider."

Some of the witnesses expected to testify during that phase were Cape Town mayor Patricia De Lille, Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier, former ANC public accounts committee (Scopa) member Andrew Feinstein, former Scopa chairperson Gavin Woods, and anti-arms deal campaigner Terry Crawford-Browne.

Aboobaker said the commission had a colossal task in scrutinising the SDPP.

"It [the inquiry] is a process where those responsible for the SDPP, those who participated in its finalisation, are called to account for their actions. It is not a process by which they are brought to book, that would be part of a separate process in which the NPA may be called upon to take such action," he said.

"That process could well result in the prosecution of those individuals who the NPA in its wisdom finds that a proper case has been laid out for prosecution. Our mandate is to present all relevant information at our disposal."

The first witness from the defence and military veterans department would start testifying on Tuesday.

Declassifying documents

The commission was postponed on 5 August after it was decided that time was needed to decide how to proceed with declassifying documents relevant to the inquiry.

In a statement the commission said the main reason for the adjournment was the resignation of one of the commissioners, Judge Francis Legodi.

This resulted in the remaining two commissioners, Judge Willie Seriti and Free State Judge President Thekiso Musi, not being properly constituted.

President Jacob Zuma had since decided that the commission would continue with just two commissioners.

Seriti on Monday made it clear that the commission was properly constituted.

Read more on:    willie seriti  |  arms deal

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
16 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.