Arms Deal Commission continues

Another witness has taken the stand to try and shed light in the controversial arms deal procurement.

The Arms Deal Commission of Inquiry is being held at the Sammy Marks Conference Centre in Pretoria. Picture: Belinda Moses/EWN

PRETORIA - The Arms Deal Commission is back in session today.

Brigadier General John Bayne from the South African Air Force is giving evidence on the Grippens that were acquired in the now multibillion Rand arms deal.

The Seriti Commission has now been in session for three weeks.

Bayne is the director of combat systems and is giving testimony about the time leading up to the acquisition of the arms from foreign companies.

He is currently responsible for the Grippen and Hawks under the defence force.

Evidence leaders are asking him specifically about the use of the arms acquired and why they were so important for the country.

Last week, the commission heard about how budgets were tight for the defence force, and sanctions imposed on South Africa during the apartheid era make it difficult for arms acquisitions to take place with other countries.

Major General Gerald Malinga told the commission budget cuts have plagued the Defence Department since 1990.

Malinga said France and Israel were some of the only countries keen to do business and training with South Africa at the time.

The inquiry was set up by President Jacob Zuma in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the deal.