Corruption Watch, R2K launch bid to set aside arms deal inquiry report

2016-10-17 18:13
Arms deal. (File)

Arms deal. (File)

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Cape Town - Lobby groups Corruption Watch and Right2Know launched a court application on Monday to have the Seriti Commission of Inquiry’s findings set aside.

They brought the review application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria in a bid to ensure accountability, they said in a statement.

"This follows a relentless struggle by civil society for accountability in a scandal that was one of the most far-reaching in a democratic South Africa.

"The Seriti Commission’s findings cannot be allowed to stand," they said.

President Jacob Zuma released the commission’s findings in April.

READ: 6 key findings of arms deal commission

According to the report, 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.

Corruption Watch and Right2Know said the review sought to ensure that a "great crime against the people of South Africa will not be whitewashed".

"Challenging the arms deal cover-up is particularly relevant, given the struggles today against state capture, in an environment in which investigations of irregular procurement and large-scale contracts are increasingly hampered and suppressed. Those who are implicated continue to act with impunity and in most cases remain in their positions without consequences."

In their founding papers, they said the findings of no evidence of corruption were a result of the commission’s abject failure to properly investigate.

"The commission refused to consider thousands of pages of evidence from previous investigations, and failed to gather or admit highly incriminating evidence, despite having the power to do so."

The commission failed in its mandate to fully investigate and uncover the truth about the arms deal, they argue.

"This deal has deeply corrupted the politics of South Africa, and sits at the heart of the country’s fight against corruption and 'state capture'.

"The commission’s failure to provide the public with the truth undermines the country’s attempts to fight these struggles."

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Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  arms deal  |  corruption

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