Zuma appoints inquiry into arms deal

2011-09-15 14:10
Johannesburg - A new commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of wrongdoing in the arms deal is to be appointed, President Jacob Zuma's office said on Thursday.

"The president will soon announce the terms of reference and the composition of the commission, including the time frames," Zuma's spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

Zuma had requested Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe to take the necessary steps to put this decision into effect, he said.

In 2009, legal proceedings were instituted in the Western Cape High Court asking the court to direct the president to appoint an independent judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of wrongdoing, or to require him to reconsider his refusal to do so.

Public interest

It later transpired that the Western Cape High Court was the wrong forum to hear the matter. An application was then brought in the Constitutional Court. The matter was set down for hearing on November 17.

Maharaj said Zuma assumed office when the matter was already pending in the courts of law.

"He had previously taken a view that since the matter was the subject of litigation in a court of law, he should allow the legal process to take its course," Maharaj said.

"However, he has since taken into account the various developments around this matter and also the fact that closure on this subject will be in the public interest."

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