Arms deal report 'no whitewash' - Radebe

Cape Town – The Seriti Commission of Inquiry’s findings into the arms deal were neither a whitewash nor a waste of taxpayers’ money, Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

The commission's findings into the arms deal had vindicated the government, he said during a briefing following Cabinet's fortnightly meeting.

According to the report, which President Jacob Zuma released to the public on Thursday, there was no evidence - oral or documented - to support allegations of bribery, corruption and fraud in the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal.

No evidence was found of undue influence in the selection of the preferred bidders.

"The truth has come out. It was not a whitewash, or a waste of taxpayers’ money. We have been vindicated, as we have said for many years there was no wrongdoing. We trust these findings will bring final closure to this long, drawn-out process," Radebe said.

A number of people had called for the investigation, including former MPs. The terms of reference had been broad enough and the commissioners had gone out of their way to call witnesses. All the commissioners were judges and all had come to the same conclusion, he said.

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