Seriti will subpoena critics

Johannesburg - The Seriti Commission of Inquiry will issue subpoenas to the three arms deal critics who withdrew from participation, it said on Wednesday.

"The chairperson indicated yesterday [Tuesday] that the commission will issue subpoenas to the three witnesses," spokesperson William Baloyi said.

"He also indicated that the commission is aware that two of the witnesses are out of the country but the one present will be served, namely Mr [Hennie] van Vuuren."

Former African National Congress MP Andrew Feinstein, author Paul Holden, and Van Vuuren announced last week they were withdrawing from the commission. All three had been expected to testify.

They said they could no longer co-operate with an institution that "is [so] deeply compromised that its primary outcome will be to cover up".

The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was appointed by President Jacob Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the 1999 arms deal.

Asked at their announcement last week if there were any legal implications to withdrawing, Holden said the subpoenas sent to the three had expired.

All witnesses at the commission had received subpoenas. The three were meant to testify in August: Feinstein on 4 August, Holden on 5 August, and Van Vuuren the day after.

Van Vuuren on Wednesday told Sapa he had not received any communication from the commission.

"I have not been re-issued and my current subpoena lapsed in early August.

"If I am [subpoenaed], I will certainly be seeking legal advice," he said.

Lawyers for Human Rights, representing the three, said on Wednesday it could not comment on Seriti's decision until the subpoenas had actually been issued.

Read more on: arms deal
Rustic 2014-09-03 08:21:30 PM
The mantle of respectability does not sit well regarding this Commission. This emperor might as well be naked.
lacrimosewolf 2014-09-03 08:27:47 PM
What a farce. Forcing people to 'testify' but already ruled all their testimony is invalid.
Bev Du Preez 2014-09-03 08:38:10 PM
Let us go to the polls for all evidence to come out. It is our tax money after all.
sxp 2014-09-03 09:46:30 PM
This Seriti and his commission should just go to hell. It is time for the "con"court to do what is right by us living men and women of this land.
Andrew M 2014-09-04 07:33:58 AM
Subpoena them by all means but remember this action does not add respectability to your compremosed cover up commission. How is it possible to only admit some evidence and not all evidence Judge Seriti???
Fritz Louw 2014-09-04 09:14:20 AM
And don’t forget that Armscor and African Defence Systems (ADS) are also guilty of other fraud and theft of taxpayer’s money in addition to their abhorrent roles they played during the corrupt and scandalous arms deal. These criminal, disgraceful and fundamentally corrupt organisations are both a shame for South Africa – in the past, now and it looks like in the future as well. The reader may also Google: “Fritz Louw” Armscor; “Fritz Louw” African Defence Systems; “Fritz Louw” whistling in the wind; “Fritz Louw” Taljaard release SAS Mendi. Heibrin Venter: “Blow it out of your ear. You post the same cr*p over and over. Did Armscor or ADS fire you at some stage?? Regardless of what they became post '94, Armscor was SA's saviour pre-'94, and was a highly respected, innovative arms manufacturer”. Yes, they did fire me shamelessly because I started to reveal serious irregularities (in fact fraud and theft of taxpayer’s money) of which at the end I was proved to be correct. Amen. On Friday 30 July 1999 I made these massive criminalities committed by both Armscor and ADS known to inter alia Chippy Shaik, the then Chief of Acquisitions of SANDF, in a 2 page statement: Please Google: MyNews24 Letter to Chippy Shaik 20131021. This was of course a grave mistake on my side because I did not know that Shaik was in bed with ADS all along. The following Monday a tragic and colossal cover-up exercise by both ADS and Armscor was started and that lasted for several months. All on record.
Johan Kotze 2014-09-04 10:01:56 AM
What do South Africans expect from a camouflaged crime ridden ANC leadership in government expect. Get real...get a life!