DA attack on arms deal report 'unacceptable' - Presidency

2016-01-04 12:59
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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Johannesburg - The Presidency on Monday criticised the Democratic Alliance for rejecting the Arms Procurement Commission’s final report as a whitewash.

It was "unwarranted, shocking, irresponsible and totally unacceptable", spokesperson Bongani Majola said.

He said the Democratic Alliance had cast aspersions on the integrity of two senior judges - chairperson Willie Seriti and commissioner Thekiso Musi. They had worked meticulously for four years to uncover what happened during the arms procurement process.

Majola said the DA was attacking a report it had not yet seen. He urged the party to respect and support the judiciary.

President Jacob Zuma announced last Wednesday that he had received the final report into the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package.

The following day, DA MP David Maynier, who had testified at the commission, called for the report to be made public. He said Zuma was not obliged to release it, but said the report's findings were in the public interest.

"The Arms Procurement Commission has been embroiled in controversy from the start and expectations are that, at least when it comes to the crucial question of whether the arms deal was tainted by fraud and corruption, the final report will be a whitewash and that those who were alleged to have been involved in arms deal corruption, including President Jacob Zuma himself, have nothing to fear," he said.

Maynier said the commission had cost the country more than R100m.

Majola said Zuma would make the report public as soon as he had concluded the "necessary processing thereof".

Zuma appointed the commission in September 2011, after the Western Cape High Court was asked in 2009 to appoint an independent judicial inquiry to probe alleged corruption in the multi-billion rand arms deal.

The government bought military hardware, including 26 Gripen fighter aircraft, 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, and frigates and submarines for the navy.

The commission began its hearings in August 2013 and concluded them in June 2015.

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