Defence minister overruled decision to interdict arms deal commission

2013-08-05 11:52

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Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has overruled a decision by her department to interdict the arms deal commission from starting.

This was revealed by Advocate Michael Kuper SC, on behalf of the department, on the first day of the commission’s hearing.

The commission has been adjourned until August 19.

Judge Willie Seriti, who chairs the commission, revealed this morning that he received court papers for an urgent interdict from the department and Rear-Admiral Alan Green of the Navy last night.

Green is the first witness on the commission’s list of witnesses.

Seriti urged the department not to proceed with the application as “the issues have been dealt with”.

One of the matters related to the resignation of Judge Francis Legodi as the third commissioner last week.

Seriti said that President Zuma had to resolve the issue of “quorate”, because he appointed the commission.

Asked to respond, Kuper said the papers Seriti received last night were still in draft form pending the approval of court action by Mapisa-Nqakula.

But the minister was satisfied that Seriti would deal with the matters sufficiently and declined to go ahead with the application.

Kuper added he wanted to resolve two issues with the commission before the hearings resume: that aspects of natural justice have been met, and the declassification of secret documentation.

He requested a two-week postponement, which Seriti granted.

Arms deal commission gets under way

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