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Society groups lodge papers to have Seriti Commission’s findings set aside

Right to Know Campaign and Corruption Watch say the commission’s findings are a whitewash.

FILE: The Right to Know Campaign (R2K) called for the scrapping of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry which was investigating the controversial 1999 arms deal. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Two civil society groups have lodged papers in the Pretoria High Court to have the Seriti Commission's findings into the arms deal set aside on the grounds that it failed to follow correct procedure.

Earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on the outcomes of the four-year investigation which found no wrongdoing in the procurement of arms.

The 1999 deal saw billions of rands being spent on the buying of new military equipment, including a submarine and light fighter aircraft.

The Right to Know Campaign and Corruption Watch say the Seriti Commission's findings are a whitewash and this must be reflected in history.

Corruption Watch spokesperson Leanne Govindasamy said, "The commission is supposed to investigate the arms deal; to investigate the allegations of corruption but what we have submitted instead is it was just an inquiry."

Govindasamy says the commission failed to follow the correct procedures, present key evidence and excluded key witnesses.

The two civil society groups say while they don't want a new commission to be formed, the setting aside of the judgment will be a victory for them.