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R150 million later, arms deal Seriti findings set aside

The High Court in Pretoria has set aside the findings of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the controversial arms deal.

FILE: The arms deal commission of inquiry. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - The High Court in Pretoria has set aside the report and findings of the Seriti commission of inquiry which investigated the controversial arms deal.

The court found that the commission chaired by Judge Willie Seriti failed to comprehensively investigate the arms deal as it had been mandated to do.

This was among the findings by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, who handed down the ruling on Wednesday.

Civil society organisations Corruption Watch and the Right2Know Campaign brought an application to have the commission of inquiry into the controversial arms deal reviewed and set aside.

Mlambo went into detail about the evidence the commission refused to admit and how the evidence leaders did not properly question implicated parties.

"It is clear that the commission failed to inquire fully and comprehensively into the issues which it was required to investigate on the basis of its terms of reference. This is evident from the failure to examine the DP report or the evidence which emerged from the Schabir Shaik trial, which it refused to admit."

He said that an analysis of all the failures led to one conclusion.

"Whether uncontested evidence reveals so manifest a set of errors of law, a clear failure to test evidence of key witnesses, a refusal to take account of documentary evidence which contained the most serious allegations which were relevant to its inquiry, the principle of legality dictates only one conclusion - that the findings of such a commission must be set aside."