Crawford-Browne lambastes arms deal inquiry

Terry Crawford-Browne told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry the arms deal was unconstitutional and illegal.

Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Browne at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal in Pretoria in 2013. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Retired banker Terry Crawford-Browne has told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry that the 1999 arms deal was unconstitutional, illegal and fraudulent.

The commission was set up by President Jacob Zuma to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the R70 billion deal.

Crawford-Browne has also criticised the probe itself, calling it an outright farce.

The commission heard that he was approached in 1999 by African National Congress (ANC) intelligence operatives on behalf of the party's Members of Parliament.

The retired banker claims they told him the deal was the tip of the iceberg of the interlocking conspiracy led by then defence minister Joe Modise and the leadership of the MK veterans.

ANC heavyweights also alleged at the time that the arms procurement package was interrelated with oil deals, road tolls, Cell C, diamonds and drug smuggling.

Crawford-Browne said the common denominator among the fraudulent activities was kickbacks to the ruling party averaging 10 percent in return for political protection.

Last week the Right to Know Campaign (R2K) called for the scrapping of the commission.

A handful of protesters picketed outside the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development's offices in Pretoria last week, holding posters that said they no longer had faith in the process.

Demonstrators said taxpayers had been footing the bill for the commission for two years and there were still no answers.