The Seriti Commission, formally known as the Arms Procurement Commission, is currently in session in Pretoria. The commission is probing allegations of widespread and far-reaching corruption that have plagued the controversial deal almost from day one.
Authors Andrew Feinstein and Hennie van Vuuren, represented by Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), are scheduled to brief the media this afternoon at a press conference. The pair will report on their experiences at the Arms Procurement Commission, including challenges related to accessing crucial documents and cross-examination of key witnesses.
LHR clients Feinstein, van Vuuren and author Paul Holden remain critical of the shortcomings of the commission. Feinstein and arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne have asked in the Constitutional Court for it to be cancelled, saying that it is a whitewash.
However, they remain engaged in the commission’s work for reasons they will disclose at the media event. They will also discuss the importance of holding it to its mandate of accountability, transparency and the rule of law.
Holden has called for a more active participation in the commission’s proceedings from citizens and civil society alike, as it is only in this way that it can be called to account, he said. Rather than walking away, South Africans must insist that the commission do the job it has been asked to do. We agree, and we will be attending the press conference – look out for our report-back tomorrow!