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De Lille: Ruling on Seriti Inquiry shows wheels of justice not entirely broken

De Lille was responding to the High Court ruling on Wednesday which found that Judge Willie Seriti - who chaired the commission - failed to execute his mandate to thoroughly investigate the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Hon Patricia De Lille tabling her department budget vote in Parliament on 10 July 2019. Picture: @DepPublicWorks/Twitter

PRETORIA - Arms deal whistleblower Patricia de Lille has described the setting aside of the arms deal commission of inquiry report as bitter-sweet. While lamenting the delay of justice for the corrupt, she says it presents another opportunity to hold those responsible to account.

De Lille was responding to the High Court ruling on Wednesday which found that Judge Willie Seriti - who chaired the commission - failed to execute his mandate to thoroughly investigate the controversial multi-billion rand arms deal.

The ruling was the result of an application brought by lobby groups Corruption Watch and the Right2Know Campaign, which proved to the court that Seriti and the commission evidence leaders disregarded critical evidence related to corruption and blindly accepted the blank denials of wrongdoing by implicated parties.

Patricia de Lille has welcomed the court ruling but she was mindful that she first blew the whistle on arms deal corruption 20 years ago.

"It demonstrates that although the wheels of justice have been turning almost imperceptibly slowly, they are not entirely broken and the rule of law prevails."

De Lille was not willing to give up on her quest for justice.

"The court judgment presents a new opportunity to demonstrate in South Africa that all citizens, irrespective of power or connectivity, are governed by the same laws and Constitution and held to equal standards to account."

Meanwhile, the EFF said it would seek advice from its legal team on the possibility of pursuing a personal costs order against Judge Willie Seriti.