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Guns, politics, lies: the arms deal’s whitewash commission

By Tara Davis and Deborah Mutemwa-TumboFirst published in the Sunday Times What is the point of commissions of inquiry? Are they powerful tools for investigating issues of public concern that can ultimately bring about justice, or are they expensive political options used by those in power to pacify the public and justify impunity? Corruption Watch Read more >

Arms deal commission FAQ, and CW and R2K’s challenge

What is a commission of inquiry? A commission of inquiry is one of many bodies available to the government to inquire into various issues. Commissions report findings, give advice and make recommendations. While their findings are not legally binding, they can be highly influential. Commissions must act strictly within their terms of reference and ensure Read more >

Arms deal and Seriti Commission FAQ

What was the arms deal? In December 1999, the South African government signed contracts with a number of European defence companies to buy a range of sophisticated military equipment. South Africa purchased: Gripen jet fighters and Hawk jet fighter trainers from the UK/Swedish partnership, British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) and Saab. corvette warships from the Read more >

People’s Tribunal releases preliminary findings

Following five days of hearings the five-member panel of the first Peoples’ Tribunal on Economic Crime released their preliminary findings last night. The findings, read out by Justice Zak Yacoob at Constitution Hill, provide a strong call for accountability. They echo the closing message to the People’s Tribunal by South African Council of Churches secretary-general, Read more >

Five days of gripping tribunal hearings

After five days of compelling and disturbing testimony, presentations, submissions and personal accounts, the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime wrapped up on Wednesday evening. The five-member panel of adjudicators shared their preliminary findings, followed by the opening of The People Against Corruption exhibition. Download the preliminary findings. The evidence presented was just the tip of Read more >

Skeletons emerge at People’s Tribunal

By Kwazi Dlamini The People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime, currently in session at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, is drawing to a close but it has certainly produced its share of sensational revelations. On Monday Ajay Sooklal, formerly a legal representative of French arms company Thales, dropped a bombshell by revealing a range of key role Read more >

Investigator’s testimony fingers Zuma, Shaik

By Lee-Ann Alfreds President Jacob Zuma received “financial benefit” from the arms deal. And there was “prima facie” evidence of corruption involving the president and related to the deal, the Arms Procurement Commission heard last month. Testifying on 18 and 19 May before the enquiry which is investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in South Read more >

Young: fake prices, conflict of interest, and more

By Lee-Ann Alfreds Whistleblower Richard Young recalled in his second day on the stand the exact moment he realised the irregularities being perpetrated in the arms deal – the beginning of July 1998. Testifying at the Arms Procurement Commission which is investigating allegations of fraud and corruption in South Africa’s 1999, R71-billion deal, Young – Read more >

Chippy Shaik’s testimony full of denials

By Lee-Ann Alfreds Chippy Shaik, the former Department of Defence chief of acquisitions whom arms critics believe was central to the subversion and manipulation of South Africa’s controversial 1999 arms deal, has denied any wrongdoing. Testifying at the Arms Procurement Commission last week, Shaik insisted he had not:   *acted inappropriately to ensure his fraudster Read more >