Arms inquiry extension considered

2013-07-31 22:34
Gripen fighter jet. (File, AFP)

Gripen fighter jet. (File, AFP)

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

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma is considering extending the commission of inquiry into the multi-billion-rand arms deal, the presidency said on Wednesday.

"President Jacob Zuma has received and is considering a request to extend [it] by 12 months," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

The commission's term was due to expire in November. Its public hearings were scheduled to start next week.

Former president Thabo Mbeki, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils and Congress of the People (Cope) president Mosiuoa Lekota were some of the people expected to testify in the first phase of the inquiry.

The commission, which is probing the R70bn arms procurement deal, would hold public hearings from 5 August until 31 January at the council chambers of the Sammy Marks Conference Centre, Pretoria.

The deal, which was initially estimated to cost R43m, has dogged South Africa's politics since it was signed in 1999, after then Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) MP Patricia de Lille raised allegations of corruption in Parliament.

Zuma himself was once charged with corruption after his financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who had a tender to supply part of the requirements, was found to have facilitated a bribe for him from a French arms company. The charges against Zuma were dropped in April 2009.

The commission, which is probing the R70bn arms procurement deal, subject to Zuma granting an extension beyond November, spokesperson William Baloyi said.

Mbeki and Manuel were set to testify in the second half of January.

Rationale for arms

Baloyi said the first phase of the commission would "deal with the rationale for the Strategic Defence Procurement Package", and whether the arms and equipment acquired were under-utilised or not utilised at all.

The first witnesses would be navy and air force officials. Armscor witnesses would be named later.

Kasrils and Lekota would be called as witnesses between 30 September and 4 October, followed by department of trade and industry officials until 11 November.

Former public enterprises minister Alec Erwin was expected to testify for three days in November, followed by National Treasury officials until the end of that month.

"It is also important to note that the programme is not cast in stone and circumstances prevailing at the hearings may require that it be adapted or altered, and this may also effect the sequence of witnesses," Baloyi said.

"Some of the witnesses may be recalled at a later stage, when the commission deals with the terms of reference relating to allegations of impropriety, fraud and corruption in the acquisition process, a phase in which the 'whistleblowers' and those who are implicated will feature."

The commission would be held in the council chambers of the Sammy Marks Conference Centre in Pretoria.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cope  |  pac  |  trevor manuel  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  shabir shaik  |  ronnie kasrils  |  mac maharaj  |  mosiuoa le­kota  |  patricia de lille  |  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
13 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...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.