Access to classified documents hampers commission

Whistleblower Richard Young was unable to cross-examine Armscor programme manager Frits Nortje because he does not have sufficient time and access to classified documents – this is one of the big concerns around the Seriti Commission, which is investigating “allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the strategic defence procurement package”. Lawyers for Human Read more >

Arms deal offsets – were they worth it?

In the newly democratised South Africa, who could say no to an investment into our economy of between R104- and R110-billion, with the creation of 65 000 jobs? This was the promise of the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (SDPP or arms deal) offset agreements. At the time it would cost the country around R30-billion – excluding Read more >

A killer in more ways than one

By Lee-Ann Alfreds It helped bankrupt Greece, wiped out a multi-million rand education aid package to poverty-stricken Tanzania and robbed struggling South Africans of a potential 1.1-million jobs. Yet such is the secrecy that surrounds the global arms industry that very few people are aware of the pernicious impact the international defence sector has on Read more >

A closer look at the Seriti Commission

The Seriti Commission is in the news at the moment, as it continues to investigate allegations of widespread corruption in the strategic defence procurement package (SDPP), colloquially known as the arms deal. Behind the scenes people have worked for months to establish the structures and rules that inform the way the commission will go about Read more >

Why we must care about the Seriti Commission

By Lee-Ann Alfreds The Arms Procurement Commission is not a farce and should be supported – even though the first cabinet minister to appear before it was not subjected to a grilling about his knowledge of the suspect arms deal, and critics were not receiving access to documents they requested. Addressing the media at a Read more >

Not perfect, but commission can still produce results

By Lee-Ann Alfreds His appearance was greeted with fanfare and excitement after months of dry and technical testimony by largely-unknown flunkies and officials. But then, former trade and industry minister Alec Erwin came and went in the blink of an eye – and fears for the credibility of the Arms Procurement Commission went into overdrive. Read more >

Fighting the good fight

By Lee-Ann Alfreds Their breadth of recall is mind-boggling. Dates, figures, names and irregularities that several official investigations have tried – unsuccessfully – to unravel for over 15 years, these are the details that arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne and whistleblower Richard Young readily have at their fingertips. It’s not surprising, though, as both have Read more >

The arms deal – South Africa’s corruption trailblazer

By Lee-Ann Collingridge Nkandla, Dina Pule, Sicelo Shiceka, Bheki Cele. South Africa is awash with corruption scandals (amounting to nearly R1-billion last year alone, according to financial forensics expert Peter Allwright) and many analysts believe they know one of the catalysts: the Strategic Defence Procurement Package, better known as the arms deal. For it was Read more >