'Joe Modise benefited from arms deal'

Gavin Woods says it's unlikely that anyone except the former minister actually benefited from the deal.

FILE: Seriti Commission of Inquiry chair Judge Willie Seriti (R) and Judge Hendrick Musi. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The former chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry that former defence minister Johannes "Joe" Modise benefited from the controversial multi-billion arms deal.

Gavin Woods is testifying at the inquiry set-up by President Jacob Zuma to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption relating to the deal.

The former Inkatha Freedom Party Member of Parliament resigned from his position in 2002 because of interference in his duties.

Woods says an investigation by the German public protector found that most of the $25 million paid to the German Frigate Consortium went in to the pockets of South African officials and Cabinet members.

He could not identify any of these people except Modise who died in 2001.

But Woods says it's unlikely anyone except the former minister actually benefited.

He further questioned how the government could be so confident that the deal was free of corruption, adding that it went to great lengths to sabotage investigations.