DA wants 'toxic' Yengeni fired

2011-08-22 22:39
Cape Town - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Lindiwe Sisulu should fire "politically toxic" fraud convict Tony Yengeni from the parliamentary committee dealing with a review of the defence force, the DA said on Monday.

"The fact is that Tony Yengeni is politically toxic and risks contaminating the entire defence review process," Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said.

The last defence review, a process aimed at long-term defence force planning, was conducted 13 years ago.

The Interim National Defence Force Service Commission has recommended the defence department once again undertake an extensive and properly funded review.

"The defence review is absolutely vital because it provides an opportunity to reset the mandate, capabilities and funding levels of the defence force," Maynier said.

A high-level committee, headed by Roelf Meyer and including Yengeni, had been appointed to conduct the defence review.

Maynier said Yengeni should never have been appointed to the committee because of his fraud conviction relating to the arms deal and his four-year jail sentence.

He was also being investigated by the police for illegal directorships in contravention of section 218 of the Companies Act (1973). This states that anybody convicted of theft, fraud, forgery or perjury is disqualified from being a director of a company, Maynier said.

Yengeni's values "clearly contrast with the core values of the defence force", which include integrity and honesty.

"Why should ordinary soldiers serving in the defence force, who are required to uphold the values of honesty and integrity, be reviewed by... Yengeni?" Maynier asked.

"Tony Yengeni is clearly not a fit and proper person to serve on the defence review committee, and the minister's poor judgment now risks compromising the entire defence review.

Sisulu's office was not available for comment.

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