Arms deal campaigners want more time

Lawyers representing the trio want to cross-examine Armscor witness Rob Vermeulen.

The arms deal commission on 23 August 2013. Picture: Belinda Moses/EWN.

PRETORIA - Lawyers acting for anti-arms deal campaigners on Thursday asked for more time to prepare to cross-examine witnesses from Armscor.

They argue they do not have all the necessary documents to do it now.

The commission is investigating claims of fraud and corruption linked to the multibillion rand deal.

Over the past week, the inquiry heard testimony from Armscor.

Paul Holden, Andrew Feinstein and Hennie van Vuuren have been outspoken critics of the arms deal.

They have written numerous papers and even books about it.

All three campaigners believe the deal should not have gone through as it did.

They will be called along with Patricia de Lille in the second phase of the commission to share what they know.

For now, their lawyers say they want to cross-examine Armscor witness Rob Vermeulen, who testified about a now declassified evaluation report on the submarine deal.

They want all clients to be present, but Holden is in the United Kingdom.

Vermeulen told evidence leaders about the scoring system used in the bid for three submarines.

They were purchased from a German consortium, which failed to meet deadlines and was subsequently fined.

The commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma in 2011.

Some have criticised the inquiry, saying it is not interested in uncovering the truth in what is believed to be the biggest post-apartheid scandal.