Committee blocks arms deal report
Cape Town - The DA has accused a parliamentary committee of trying to protect the trade and industry department by voting to keep secret a report about the arms deal.
DA MP Wilmot James said on Wednesday the decision was an attempt by the portfolio committee on trade and industry to protect the department from real accountability on an issue of "monumental public interest".
"The department has consistently avoided answering questions about how much has actually been invested as part of the National Industrial Participation Programme (NIPP) and why there is such a significant discrepancy between the reported size of investments and actual investments," James said.
"This decision amounts to an attempt by the portfolio committee to protect the department from real accountability on an issue of monumental public interest."
Details of the investments are contained in a forensic report leaked by DA MP David Maynier in a portfolio committee meeting in February.
Maynier asked that the dti answer to its contents, which specifically suggested that Ferrostaal - one of the primary contracting companies supplying submarines - invested R63m in terms of their obligation under the NIPP and not R3bn as the dti claimed.
Committee chairperson Joan Fubbs ruled on Wednesday that the report could not be considered or used by the committee in questioning the dti.
"We strongly objected and asked that the matter be put to a vote," James said.
"The ANC then used its majority on the committee to rubber-stamp the chairperson's ruling, winning the vote by six votes to three (with two abstentions)."
The dti is scheduled to appear before the committee on March 16.