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De Lille has 'no regrets' over arms deal

The mayor believes she's presented a strong case to the Seriti Commission of Inquiry.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille says she doesn't regret blowing the whistle on alleged corruption in the controversial arms deal.

The deal saw government spend billions of rand on military equipment under a cloud of suspicion.

President Jacob Zuma established the Seriti Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption relating to the controversial multibillion rand deal.

The mayor says she has no reservations on blowing the lid on the controversial deal.

More than 10 years ago de Lille, who was a Pan Africanist Congress member at the time, brought the allegations to light in Parliament.

Last week, she had her say about the scandal at the inquiry but came under attack.

De Lille maintains she's done the right thing.

"I really had doubts because I didn't realise at the time how big this thing was. But if I was asked to do it again, I would certainly do it."

The mayor believes she's presented a strong case to the commission, adding that by bringing the allegations to light, former government officials were prosecuted.

"Subsequently, two of the allegations contained in that de Lille dossier led to two successful prosecutions. That document is also now part of the record of the High Court in Durban, the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court."

Costs relating to the arms procurement deal have ballooned since it was first implemented.

NO NEW EVIDENCE LEADERS

The Seriti commission says it will not appoint new evidence leaders following the resignations of two lawyers representing the state.

While the commission has accepted the resignations of advocates Barry Skinner and Carol Sibiya, it still remains unclear why the pair decided to leave.

It's been claimed they were being treated disrespectfully by the commission's head of legal research, advocate Fanyana Mdumbe.

Commission spokesperson William Baloyi says the advocates were fortunately working within a team.

"We still have seven evidence leaders out of 10 that are still with the commission, because three have already resigned. The workload will be reallocated to the team that was working with them."

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