Corruption covered up in arms deal inquiry - claim

Johannesburg - A resignation letter by two evidence leaders of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry allegedly points to a cover-up of corruption in the multi-billion rand arms deal, the Mail & Guardian reported on Friday.

The joint letter by advocates Barry Skinner and Carol Sibiya, who quit two weeks ago, said commission chairperson Judge Willie Seriti denied them the right to re-examine witnesses, even though it was a crucial part of their job.

They claimed that vital evidence was withheld from them and that they were aware of duplicity at the commission.

Damning report not permitted

They also criticised Seriti's decision not to permit as evidence a damning report that showed that German arms dealer Ferrostaal allegedly paid R300m to influence senior politicians to secure the sale of submarines to South Africa.

The report raised concerns about Ferrostaal's relationship with Chippy Shaik, the government's head of acquisitions during the arms deal negotiations.

The report was not released by Ferrostaal but had been reported on by local and international media.

Arms deal critic Paul Holden attempted to introduce the document in the commission but Seriti would not allow it because it was "leaked".

Sibiyia and Skinner said that for Seriti to deny the admission of the report into evidence "nullifies the very purpose for which the commission was set up".

The commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the arms procurement deal in 1999.


The commission denied that evidence was withheld from Sibiya and Skinner. It said evidence leaders had been routinely allowed to re-examine witnesses and that a record of proceedings would confirm this.

It said the letter of resignation was confidential communication and it would not discuss it with the media.

Made-In SA 2014/08/08 09:23:45 AM
Seriti cover up commission is a whitewashing exercise Waterkloof Airbase Guptagate Nkandla style and nothing else.Multi Millions were paid in bribes,including to Maharaj.
Stuart Shaw 2014/08/08 09:26:25 AM
And so it goes on and on! We all know it is corrupt so don't be surprised when Seriti steps down before an outcome and it has to start again.
Lawrence Robert Atkinson 2014/08/08 09:28:55 AM
Duck duck and dive Mr Seriti
Sarel van Deventer 2014/08/08 09:32:24 AM
zuma apoints a commission too investigate corruption in which he is the main culprit?
Joe Black302 2014/08/08 09:42:39 AM
People need to wake the hell up. Voting for these bastards is punishing yourself.
Sisie Indola 2014/08/08 09:47:15 AM
We knew this was a farce from the get go - so why the surprise. JZ only calling for these "commissions of inquiry" in various sectors to appease the populace, or they are wanting to find out who knows what so that they can eliminate the paper and person trail.
Lima 2014/08/08 09:48:16 AM
He- Seriti, is up in no1's ass!
Itumeleng Dithebe 2014/08/08 09:49:36 AM
JZ appoints a commission to investigate him..a report frm dt commision wil probably exclude those hu r accountable, Madonsela dd a gud job wit nkandla,she cud hv jst investigated diz also nd gv us a report.
David Muir577 2014/08/08 09:56:56 AM
Another cover-up. The "commission" has clearly received instructions from above.(And I am certainly not referring to the Almighty)!
Louis Van Den Elst 2014/08/08 10:00:38 AM
Why bother and waste more tax payers money nothing will happen and no action will be taken SA at its best to cover up