Arms deal: Former defence secretary says govt flouted tender procedures

2014-05-14 14:29

Former secretary of defence Lieutenant-General Pierre Steyn has expressed concern about what he described as the flouting of defence tender procedures by the government during the controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.

Steyn, whose position was the equivalent of a current director-general, told the arms deal commission in Pretoria that the tender process and policies that existed prior to the arms deal were neglected. Former defence minister Joe Modise apparently introduced new tender processes, which led to a “concerning mix” of policies that were used to procure arms.

Steyn, who left the defence force in 1998 because of the irregularities he had allegedly witnessed during the procurement process, said the government’s planning was not up to scratch as the South African government often entered into agreements without budgeting for the expenditure.

Steyn had been in the SANDF for 34 years before his resignation.

He told the commission, sitting at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria, that: “What concerned me is that in 1998 there was no money on the 1998 or 1999 budget on this [Strategic Defence Procurement Packages] for Corvettes and Winchesters. I was not told about where the money would come from.

“Part of the Exchequer Act, which was in place, was that you were not allowed to embark on an expenditure if you haven’t reflected the need [for it] anywhere. This caused great concerns as far as I was concerned.”

Steyn also questioned why the government did not follow the existing prescripts, which also included clauses that the South African government could not enter into any agreements with private arms suppliers unless those suppliers were approved by their countries.

Steyn said that in one instance, Modise entered into an unsolicited government-to-government agreement with the British government during a visit to an airshow in London.

This, according to Steyn, was an irregularity.

But when Steyn indicated that he wanted to share his “opinion” about some of the irregularities, chairperson Judge Willie Seriti intervened and asked him to stick to facts rather than what he thought.

The hearing continues.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.