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De Lille: Arms deal report a waste of time, tax payers’ money

Patricia De Lille claims commission chair knew before the commission started what its outcome would be.

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

CAPE TOWN - Original arms deal whistle-blower Patricia de Lille says the Seriti commission was an "utter waste of time and taxpayers' money".

De Lille claims the main objective of the four-year-long investigation, which cost over R110-million, was to protect "one man" - President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma today announced the commission had found no evidence of bribery or corruption in the procurement process in 1999.

She claims commission chairperson, Judge Willie Seriti, knew long before the commission even started what its outcome was going to be.

"The only thing the judge had to do was design a process to get a predetermined outcome to give Jacob Zuma what he wanted."

De Lille says the Seriti Commission's findings are designed to prove former President Thabo Mbeki was not justified in firing Zuma as deputy president.

The current DA Western Cape leader, tabled an arms deal dossier in Parliament as a PAC Member of Parliament in 1999 that led to the successful prosecution of Tony Yengeni and Schabir Shaik, as well as charges against Zuma, which were later withdrawn.

Meanwhile, the government believes it has been vindicated by the findings of the arms procurement commission.

Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, says the government has maintained over many years that there was no wrongdoing and that the arms deal was above board.

Judge Seriti was appointed by President Zuma to probe allegations of corruption in the multi-billion rand arms procurement deal in 1999.

"As far as we understand it there has been no wrongdoing in terms of allegations bribery fraud and corruption - all the commissioners are judges… they've come to that conclusion."

Radebe says Cabinet hopes the findings will bring closure on the issue.

Zuma announced the commission's findings this morning, saying it found no evidence of bribery or corruption in the procurement process.

'ARMS DEAL OUTCOMES WERE PRE-DETERMINED & DESIGNED TO PROTECT ZUMA'

Eearlier, De Lille said she was not surprised by the outcome.

"With due respect to Judge Willie Seriti, this outcome that we saw today was decided long before the commission started. The only thing the judge had to do was design a process to get a predetermined outcome."

Anti-arms deal critic Terry Crawford-Browne agreed.

"The report is, as we very much anticipated, a further cover up of the arms deal."

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