Arms inquiry continues

2014-10-09 07:48
The commission is investigating allegations of corruption in the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. (AFP)

The commission is investigating allegations of corruption in the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal. (AFP)

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Pretoria - The Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the 1999 arms deal is expected to continue on Thursday.

Arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne told the inquiry's hearings in Pretoria on Wednesday that former defence minister Joe Modise was poisoned and of plans to ascribe his death to cancer.

He said he was told this by Bheki Jacobs, who is also known as Uranin Vladimir, Hassan Solomon, and Hassan Osman. Jacobs died at his mother's home in 2008 after a six-month battle with cancer.

Crawford-Browne said Jacobs was an African National Congress functionary, trained in the Soviet Union as an intelligence operative.

Crawford-Browne also testified that there were allegations that when SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani was assassinated in 1993, he was on the verge of exposing Modise's involvement in, and corruption relating to, the arms deal.

He said blaming Clive Derby-Lewis for Hani's murder was merely a red herring to blame white right-wing elements, diverting attention from the British arms industry.

Derby-Lewis was convicted of conspiring to kill Chris Hani by providing the gun Polish immigrant Janusz Walus used to kill him in the driveway of his home in Boksburg, on the East Rand, on April 10, 1993. The commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the arms procurement deal.

The government acquired, among other hardware, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, and frigates and submarines for the navy.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  clive derby-lewis  |  pretoria  |  arms deal

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