First witness to testify in arms probe

2013-08-20 07:27
Judge William Seriti. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

Judge William Seriti. (Stephane de Sakutin, AFP)

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Arms deal commission

2013-08-19 13:11

The inquiry into the arms deal got underway in Pretoria on Monday. Watch the full proceedings.WATCH

Pretoria - The first witness will start testifying at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria on Tuesday.

This was part of the first phase of the public hearings into the country's arms deal where several government departments and entities would be called to make presentations.

Navy members from the department of defence and military veterans were expected to be first.

First phase

The commission officially started on Monday with evidence leader Tayob Aboobaker and Ramagaga Matshego giving opening statements outlining the commission's processes.

Aboobaker said the first phase of the commission dealt with executive justification.

Matshego said the defence department, arms procurement parastatal Armscor, and the national treasury would make presentations on the rationale behind the armaments acquisition.

The SA Navy, SA Air Force, and Armscor would address the commission on the utilisation or non-utilisation of the equipment.

The trade and industry department would give evidence on the "realisation of job opportunities and the offsets anticipated to flow" from the arms deal.

"The evidence to be presented during this first phase will be limited to the terms of reference [of the commission] which deals with the rationale, utilisation, and the offsets, including jobs [from the arms deal]," she said.


The commission's official opening, after a five-month delay, was postponed on 5 August after it was decided that time was needed to decide how to proceed with declassifying documents relevant to the inquiry.

In a statement the commission said the main reason for the adjournment was the resignation of one of the commissioners, Judge Francis Legodi.

This resulted in the remaining two commissioners, Judge Willie Seriti and Free State Judge President Thekiso Musi, not being properly constituted.

President Jacob Zuma had since decided that the commission would continue with just two commissioners.

Seriti on Monday made it clear that the commission was properly constituted.

Read more on:    willie seriti  |  arms deal

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