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Arms deal to hear from 'loser' bidders

The arms deal commission of inquiry is expected to hear from ‘loser’ bidders who took part in the deal.

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

PRETORIA - The Arms Procurement Commission will today hear about 'loser' bidders in the controversial multibillion Rand arms deal.

The inquiry was postponed for two weeks to allow for the declassification of documents.

The commission is investigating allegations of fraud linked to the 1999 deal.

Rob Vermeulen, who is Armscor's Program Manager of Naval Systems, was part of the negotiating team which oversaw the building of three submarines in Germany.

He wanted some of the information he was asked to share to remain confidential.

But now most of the documents have been declassified, including those providing clearer details of the bidders who didn't clinch the multibillion Rand deal.

"To a large extent we've totally unsanitised these documents and we are quite prepared to reveal the names of those 'losers' if need be."

Vermeulen is also giving evidence on how specific arms were chosen even though there were cheaper options available, saying some individuals had their reservations.

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