Arms deal saga 'damaging SA'

2011-08-04 21:15
Cape Town - The Freedom Front Plus on Thursday again urged President Jacob Zuma to appoint a judicial inquiry into the arms deal.

In a letter to Zuma, FF Plus spokesperson Pieter Groenewald said the arms procurement programme of the late 90s had since its start, until now, led to several repercussions of alleged corruption and bribery.

"I am aware that other investigations were done but in the meantime very important information has come to light," he wrote.

One of the manufacturers of the Gripen fighter jets, Saab, had now publicly acknowledged that R24m was paid in bribes to people in South Africa through their former South African subsidiary, Sanip, which was controlled by BAE Systems.

"I am also aware that the directorate for priority crimes [Hawks] is at present busy following-up on these allegations."

Doubts had, however, already been expressed as to whether the case would progress further at all.

"You, as president, are on record that you would have said that the government is serious about the eradicating of corruption and that it will not be tolerated.

"The arms deal is not only damaging the image of the SA National Defence Force but also that of the whole of South Africa.

"In my opinion the only real solution is that there will for once and for all be a final investigation about the whole arms deal programme.

"In the light of this, I request you to appoint a commission of inquiry, preferably a judicial commission, to investigate this whole matter. Finality about the issue could be secured though such an investigation and the books can then be closed," Groenewald wrote.

Read more on:    ff plus  |  bae systems  |  saab  |  jacob zuma  |  pieter groenewald  |  military  |  arms deal  |  corruption
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