IASA - Arms Deal Inquiry cover-ups a waste

The credibility of the Arms Deal Commission of Inquiry is at risk if allegations of misconduct are true.

Grippen Fighters were part of the arms deal. Picture: www.af.mil.za

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa at the weekend said if allegations of misconduct within the Arms Deal Commission of Inquiry were true, its credibility would be completely destroyed and the entire investigation compromised.

The institute is demanding a point-for-point rebuttal from commission head judge Willie Seriti, on allegations revealed last week in a letter from former head investigator Norman Moabi.

A director of the institute, Paul Hoffman, said unless a good explanation was provided, the commission would lose all reliability and Seriti would have to resign.

Hoffman said the commission had spent more time on cover-ups than seeking out the truth.

"It's been going on for too long (and) it's been covered up in far too many ways.

"All of the energy that has been expended on the cover-up could have been expended on peace, progress and prosperity - instead of covering up corruption.

"It's just such a waste."

In his resignation letter, Moabi claimed the commission was no longer going to be able to meet its mandate on finding the truth over the Arms Deal that cost South African tax payers R70 billion.

He wrote: "I came to the Commission to serve with integrity, dignity and truthfulness. I cannot with a clear conscience pretend to be blind to what is going on at the Commission.

"I am unable to be part of this Commission since I have satisfied myself that the Chairperson seem(s) to have other ideas and modus operandi to achieve with the Commission what is not the clear mandate of the enabling Government Gazette."

Other allegations include Seriti's alleged obsession with the control over the flow of information in the investigation.

Seriti is expected to address the issue further this week.