Arms deal commission failed to do its job - Corruption Watch
The court application by Corruption Watch and Right2know comes after Judge Willie Seriti, who headed the commission exonerated politicians of wrongdoing-when he released his report in 2016.
PRETORIA – Corruption Watch has argued in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria that the arms deal commission failed to do its job.
The anti-corruption organisation wants the court to review and set aside the findings of the inquiry that was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the multibillion-rand arms procurement deal in 1999.
The court application by Corruption Watch and Right2know comes after Judge Willie Seriti, who headed the commission, exonerated politicians of wrongdoing when he released his report in 2016.
Advocate Geoff Budlender argued before a full bench of judges that the arms deal inquiry failed to carry out its constitutional functions of investigating allegations of fraud and corruption regarding the deal.
He argued that the function of the commission was fundamentally similar to that of the Public Protector - to investigate and report on allegations of impropriety.
Corruption Watch has also argued that the arms deal commission must be set aside because high-profile politicians implicated in the controversial deal were let off the hook.
Budlender argued the arms deal commission had more than four years to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the deal.
He said while there was evidence of the flow of money into the country, no attempts were made by the inquiry to investigate further nor to reach Treasury or the Reserve Bank to establish who benefited from the funds.
He has also argued that there was a failure on the part of the inquiry to test the evidence presented by crucial witnesses, adding that some high-profile witnesses were not re-examined and were simply asked a few softball questions.
He concluded that this contributed to them being exonerated of any wrongdoing.