Arms deal commission 'should be disbanded'

Hennie van Vuuren is motivating why he will not testify before the commission despite a subpoena.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Arms deal critic Hennie Van Vuuren has told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry that it has lost public confidence and should be disbanded to make way for a full criminal investigation.

Van Vuuren has been motivating why he will not testify before the commission, despite being served with a subpoena to do so.

President Jacob Zuma set up the hearings into the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal to investigative allegations of corruption.

Van Vuuren's advocate Geoff Budlender read into the record from his client, saying that the commission was a whitewash.

"There is evidence to suggest that the commission is following a second agenda, namely to discredit critical witnesses and find in favour of the state and arms corporation's version of events."

He says the commission's handling of evidence is worrying.

"The commission has refused to make huge amounts of evidence public. We have been refused the opportunity to provide you with crucial documentary evidence."

Commission chairperson Judge Willie Seriti will still consider van Vuuren's submission and whether to excuse him from testifying.