'Some determined to prove Mandela's govt was corrupt' - Mbeki

2016-04-25 13:30
Thabo Mbeki. (File, City Press)

Thabo Mbeki. (File, City Press)

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Cape Town – Former president Thabo Mbeki on Monday criticised those who have rubbished the Arms Deal commission’s findings.

"This confirms that there are some in our country who are determined to ensure that at all costs, the perception is sustained among our people and the peoples of the world that the government President Nelson Mandela led was corrupt," Mbeki said.

On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma released the Seriti Commission of Inquiry’s findings into the arms deal. It found no evidence of fraud or corruption. Various opposition political parties have called the report a whitewash.

The commission’s critics include Paul Holden, former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein, and Hennie van Vuuren. All three refused to testify at the commission.

According to Mbeki, what remained unsaid was "what else would you expect of an African government?"

He said the three would do the country a great service by approaching the courts for legal review, as they had threatened.

"Thus would the nation and all of us have the possibility to hear the supposedly explosive information the 'trio' has, which, for whatever reason, it declined to present to the judicial commission," Mbeki said.

‘Commission looked at all evidence’

Mbeki rejected claims that the commission did not examine key evidence. This included a report by law firm Debevoise & Plimpton on German arms company Ferrostaal.

He said the commission had studied the report, but it was not allowed to submit it as evidence.

"The commission flatly refused to break the law in this regard, after having failed to persuade Ferrostaal to agree to lift the 'confidential' restriction, as the law prescribed."

Mbeki said the charges for which former ANC MP Tony Yengeni and President Jacob Zuma’s former financial advisor Schabir Shaik were jailed had nothing to do with the arms deal.

He said Yengeni had absolutely nothing to do with the strategic defence procurement package (SDPP), as the arms deal was formally known.

Shaik was found guilty of corruption for facilitating a bribe from French arms company Thales, in exchange for Zuma to protect the company.

"Whatever Mr Shaik and Thales did had absolutely no relationship with and had no impact of any kind on the processing, the negotiation and conclusion of the SDPP, the matter which the judicial commission had to investigate," he said.

Read more on:    thabo mbeki  |  arms deal

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