Arms inquiry must have teeth: DA

2011-09-16 15:37

Cape Town - The commission of inquiry announced by President Jacob Zuma into the multibillion-rand arms deal must have teeth, the DA said on Friday.

"There is the distinct danger that the commission of inquiry will be controlled and 'contained' to reduce the fallout for the ANC," Democratic Alliance defence spokesperson David Maynier said in a statement.

A full, independent judicial commission of inquiry would put some very big political fish at risk, and cause massive internal division within the ruling party.

"It is therefore imperative that the commission is given the teeth and the resources to get to the bottom of what happened in the arms deal."

Maynier said the commission had to have wide-ranging terms of reference. Among other things, it should be headed by a retired judge.

Further, it should investigate whether there was corruption in all aspects of the arms deal - including the acquisition of military equipment by the defence department; the national industrial participation programme, managed by the department of trade and industry; and the defence industrial participation programme, overseen by Armscor.

It should also investigate whether there was any attempt to cover up and prevent a proper investigation into the arms deal within any organ of state, including the Hawks, Scorpions, National Prosecuting Authority, auditor general, public protector and the department of justice.

Maynier said the commission should have the power to subpoena witnesses and documentation; be sufficiently resourced to properly evaluate and investigate the mountain of arms deal related material; and conduct its proceedings in an open and transparent manner.

"This commission of inquiry must be a genuine attempt to uncover the truth. If President Zuma is serious about getting to the bottom of what happened in the arms deal, he will ensure the commission has these wide-ranging terms of reference and powers," he said.

Maynier called on Justice Minister Jeff Radebe to announce the terms of reference and composition of the commission of inquiry as soon as possible.

  • Bill - 2011-09-16 16:54

    DA, it is time you got teeth....You do a lot of barking, but we don't see you biting when it comes to seriously challenging and demanding from the ANC on issues of importance…!

  • RuSaffa - 2011-09-16 17:15

    Eish!! no coloureds or old people with dentures

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-16 17:32

    You are expecting the truth? Haha -- Jacob will make sure he is "not involved". Yet we all know that fat-corrupt-incompetent is involved. With Moegoe on the bench,Pimp-cele having his back,Shaik keeping an eye on the golf course,this will be another farce.

  • Brainbow - 2011-09-16 17:33

    The Wild West has arrived in Africa. Cowboys and Indians in a free for all. No, that is too sexist and/or racist in our beloved country. Radebe is the brains behind the Mogoeng Mogoeng appointment and he is also no doubt behind this apparent well-timed move to "drop the bomb". He knows an awfull lot about the arms deal and may somehow be trying to pull a smart move. Dog will eat dog and it may well not only be Radebe and Zuma's downfall, but the beginning of the end of the ANC itself.

      Ntfutfuko - 2011-09-16 18:57

      You must also remember that Zuma was not a member of cabinet when the then cabinet approved the arms deal... This matter has a potential of a big surprise!

  • Thembisile - 2011-09-16 17:52

    It's toothless!

  • Lekgwakgwa - 2011-09-16 22:00

    Can SA trust on justice minister Jeff Radebe he will write the letters to allow commission to go to abroad to search information or the will dealer untill I call all members of DA to make followup on this commissiom because Zuma can take former chief justice Ngcobo and Mogoeng Mogoeng.

      Mantsho - 2011-09-18 23:12

      My point exactley

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