Baloyi: No member cajoled for outcome

2013-01-22 22:53

Johannesburg - No member of the Seriti commission of inquiry received instructions or were cajoled into producing a particular outcome, commission spokesperson William Baloyi said on Tuesday.

"None of us have had any instructions in any form," he said in a statement.

"We as evidence leaders have never at any time been cajoled to have a particular outcome...."

Baloyi said none of its members were "employed by the arms commission" and none were dictated to or deprived of their own views.

He was responding to allegations that the commission, which is probing the arms deal, was not being transparent and was concealing a "second agenda".

Norman Moabi, a lawyer and former acting judge from Pretoria, wrote in a letter that he was resigning because of interference and because he had lost faith in the commission's work.

According to Moabi, Seriti ruled the commission with an iron fist and facts were manipulated or withheld from commissioners. Contributions from commissioners who did not pursue the "second agenda" were frequently ignored.

Hearings were expected to start in March.

Baloyi said Seriti and the commissioners were respected judges.

"We the evidence leaders are all independent legal practitioners in private practice, and are not employed by the arms commission."

He said they had many decades of practice and most of the senior practitioners had served as acting judges in high courts on numerous occasions.

Baloyi said all members of the commission had undertaken to execute their mandate with "integrity, dignity and dedication to the truth".

They were required to contribute to the commission's goal without fear or favour, and were entitled to as much information "as we deem fit".

"At all times we have been treated by the commission with the respect that as professionals we would expect, and at no time have we gained the impression that matters are being hidden from us," he said.

"Instead we have been actively and consistently encouraged to make contributions on how best the commission should achieve its mandate."

Judges for the inquiry

In October 2011, President Jacob Zuma announced that Seriti, a Supreme Court of Appeal judge, would chair the three-man commission of inquiry, assisted by judges Hendrick Musi and Francis Legodi.

Initially, Judge Willem van der Merwe - the same judge who acquitted Zuma on a rape charge - was appointed to help Seriti, alongside Legodi.

However, in December 2011, the presidency said Van der Merwe had indicated he would not be able to serve on the commission for personal reasons.

Zuma then appointed Free State High Court Judge President Musi to replace Van der Merwe.

In May, commission secretary Mvuseni Ngubane was found dead on the back seat of his car in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

Police said a suicide note was found near the body, but that parts of it were illegible because of blood stains.

It was not clear why he committed suicide.

As secretary of the commission he would have been responsible for managing its budget and ensuring it had administrative support.

The multi-million rand arms deal has dogged South Africa's politics since it was signed in 1999, after then PAC MP Patricia de Lille raised allegations of corruption in Parliament.

Zuma was himself charged with corruption after his financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who had a tender to supply part of the requirements, was found to have facilitated a bribe for him from a French arms company. The charges against Zuma were later dropped.

Earlier, the DA said the Seriti commission was "clearly" in deep trouble.

"Judge Seriti must surely appreciate the enormous public cynicism about the [probe into the] arms deal, following what appears to be a decade-long cover-up of the biggest corruption scandal in the history of our country," DA MP David Maynier said in a statement.

"He must therefore act, not only to restore the credibility of the commission, but also to build public trust in it."

Maynier said it was imperative that Seriti make a public statement to restore the integrity of the commission.

  • godfrey.welman - 2013-01-22 23:23

    We need and oversea's judge to lead the investigation, as no SA judge (concedering their future) can really operate without fear or favour. Check attack on FNB

      jesibelle.krueger - 2013-01-23 01:45

      In fact, the case needs to be handed to Interpol, Europol, **The Serious Organised Crime Agency (in the UK) and as such the International Criminal Court. It simply requires a person to lay a charge of corruption at a police station in France, citing the French arms company Thomson-CSF, in Germany citing ThyssenKrupp, in Sweden against IF Metall, etc., with a copy to Interpol and Europol. **British and German investigators suspect that bribes of over one billion rand were paid to facilitate the 'Arms Deal' - Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Schabir Shaik, Chippy Shaik, Fana Hlongwane and (the late) Joe Modise, have all been implicated.

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2013-01-23 06:42

      @Jesibelle.Krueger:heee... Fana Hlongwane ALONE is said to have pocketed 1Billion Rands.Then there's the R30million Rands given to T Mbeki;of which he gave R28million to the cANCer

  • hein.huyser - 2013-01-23 05:27

    Yep, and pigs can fly. Where there is smoke........ especially where JZ is involved. How do you know they lie? When they open their mouths to speak. Casein point, have JZ ever spoken one word of truth on the Nkandla issues? No, not once. Even liedblatantly in Parliament to the whole nation and the world. Hope this lying and thievery will cost them the elections

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2013-01-23 06:52

    The truth will never see the light of day. No matter what Baloyi says, the ANC are bullies and self serving hypocrites.

  • talana.malherbe - 2013-01-23 06:52

    Let a commission from The Hague get involved. Oops sorry that is not the African way as Zoomer says.

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2013-01-23 06:57

    Seriti MUST RECUSE himself from Chairing this Commission if it is to Redeem itself from this SCANDALOUS ALLEGATIONS.Then there's the UNRESOLVED allegations of HIS CONFLICT of INTERESTS within the COMMISSION ITSELF relating to HIM having AUTHORISED WARRANTS to TAP T MBEKI's,ADV LEONARD Mc CARTHY's

  • marilyn.docherty.9 - 2013-01-23 07:45

    There are a lot of 'worms still to be found in this woodwork'!!!

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-01-23 07:55

    One would hope that such high level people with this responsibility are also well educated. It is therefore appropriate to assume that Baloyi understands the meaning of the words he uses in this report. Specifically, he makes the point that no one was CAJOLED! Definition of CAJOLE is 'To elicit or obtain by flattery, gentle pleading, or insincere language,. Now really, I suspect that the underhand hidden agenda has been, as reported by Moabi, promoted with a far stronger emphasis than CAJOLED. It is offensive and insulting when leaders present themselves as the arbitrators of new meanings in such obvious obfuscation.

  • arthur.salvado - 2013-01-23 08:07

    This is too big to ever be revealed. Foreign countries and dignitaries (thieves) are involved. We are wasting more taxpayer money. They should be jailed. Will it ever happen ? NOT

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2013-01-23 09:25

    South Africa is a lawless society, Zuma has made very certain of that and with very good reason. He has bought and paid his way throughout his presidency. Those that support and he has confessed it in public, are rewarded handsomely. They are set up a hundred commissions, nothing will ever come of it, they are there purely there to be paid and waste taxpayers money and nothing more. The people have no confidence in the government of the law, we are feed lies and deceit.

  • djmain1 - 2013-01-23 09:44

    Whitewash Phantsi cANCer, phantsi!!!

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