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Arms deal: ‘It's highly unlikely there was no evidence of corruption’

Corruption Watch says there’s hardly ever been an arms deal of this scale that is free of corruption.

FILE: A Gripen fighter jet, acquired in the arms deal. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Corruption Watch says it's highly unlikely that the Seriti Commission found no evidence of corruption in the arms deal.

Yesterday, President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation, outlining the commission's findings after a four-year investigation in which government acquired billions of rand worth of arms and equipment.

The commission found no evidence of fraud or corruption, clearing all individuals implicated.

Corruption Watch has released a statement saying there has hardly ever been an arms deal of this scale that is free of corruption.

The organisation's David Lewis says, "The procedures adopted by the commission where highly questionable; they were deeply flawed and deeply irregular. But even more than that, there have been two criminal findings, the courts of law, in relation to corruption in the arms deal."

LISTEN: Arms deal commission finds no evidence of wrongdoing, an activist reacts.

'WHITEWASH'

Opposition parties earlier today described the Seriti Commission's findings as a whitewash with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) calling on Zuma to reject the report entirely.

While the African National Congress (ANC) has welcomed the commission's findings, opposition parties have lashed out saying the inquiry was a waste of tax payers' money.

The EFF's Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said there's no way that the commission didn't find evidence of wrong doing.

"Individuals like Tony Yengeni and Schabir Shaik had been found guilty in relation of course to the arms deal, so this report must be rejected and President Zuma must be advised to go and throw it in the fire pool."

He said, with the likes of Shaik and Yengeni being found guilty of corruption, the commission cannot find that there was no wrongdoing.

"We must be worried that in general, commissions of inquiries appointed by Zuma always exonerate himself and the executive."

Initial whistle-blower Patricia de Lille agreed.

"It was just designed to protect one individual, President Zuma."

LISTEN: Are the results of Arms Deal Commission a damp squib?

'FINDINGS TANTAMOUNT TO A COVER-UP'

Others who were part of the commission, including authors Paul Holden and Andrew Feinstein, have said the findings are tantamount to a cover-up, which doesn't surprise them.

Holden said the commission failed to deliver on its mandate.

"There was a huge amount of evidence that the commission seems to have failed to analyse. The wording that the president used was quite interesting when it came to consulting that there was no evidence of wrongdoing placed before the commission."

LISTEN: Former ANC MP Gavin Woods, on the Arms Deal Commission finding no evidence

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