The application of Corruption Watch (CW) and Right2Know (R2K) to review and set aside the findings of the Arms Procurement Commission (the Seriti Commission) finally comes to court on 11 and 12 June, after several years of dogged scrutiny of the flawed processes and ongoing efforts to hold those implicated in the alleged corruption in the arms deal accountable.
The fact that this application will at last receive a public hearing in court is a result of civil society’s determined pursuit of the matter, which has great significance for the future success and credibility of such commissions in South Africa.
It is in the public’s interest for commissions of inquiry to ensure that proceedings are transparent and uncover the facts that they were set up to investigate. The CW and R2K application, as reported earlier, argues that the Seriti Commission failed miserably to conduct the most routine of investigations, arriving at the false conclusion that there was no evidence of corruption in the arms deal.
This application will ensure that those implicated in corrupt arms deal activities will no longer be able to claim that they were exonerated by the commission, and may even be required to have their own day in court to face the legal consequences of their actions.
In April this year, the Presidency made it clear that it would not oppose the application, and would be willing to make submissions in court. Next week provides an opportunity to highlight the ways in which the commission failed to comply with its mandate. These include:
- How the commission lied to the public and hid evidence of corruption;
- Failure to access information abroad, and to investigate serious allegations of corruption put before it; and
- Failure to investigate new allegations that have come to light.
Dates: Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 June 2019
Venue: High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division,
Paul Kruger & Madiba St, Pretoria Central,
GPS: E 28, 18708; S -25.74534
We have developed a dossier of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the arms deal that goes back several years. There are two documents, one compiled by Corruption Watch and one compiled by journalist and historian Paul Holden.