Arms deal commissioners must be above suspicion - Pieter Groenewald

FF+ MP says inquiry is the only way closure can be reached on whole affair


 "The announcement by the presidency that president Zuma will be appointing a commission of inquiry to investigate the Arms Purchasing Programme (arms deal) is welcomed by the Freedom Front Plus. Last month the FF Plus asked the president in writing to appoint a commission of inquiry, preferably a judicial commission, to investigate the arms deal (copy of letter attached). Our point of view is that the whole arms deal does not only harm the image of the SANDF but of the whole of South Africa. Through a commission closure could be obtained about the whole matter and the books can be closed on it," Mr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), chief spokesperson on Defence for the Freedom Front Plus, said.

"Zuma's acknowledgement that finality and closure is in the public's interest coincides with our point of view and our letter to him. The acknowledgement by SAAB that a bribe of R24 million had been paid to persons in South Africa, through their South African subsidiary, Sanip, which was controlled by BAE Systems and Ferrostaal's (submarines) acknowledgement that corruption had occurred during the arms deal, cannot be ignored. The composition of the commission should remain above suspicion and that is why a judicial commission will be the most acceptable," Groenewald said.

4 August 2011

The President

Mr JG Zuma




Dear President


The abovementioned issue has reference.

The arms purchase programme of the late 90's has since it's start until now lead to several repercussions of alleged corruption and bribery. I am aware that other investigations were done but in the mean time very important information has come to light. One of the manufacturers of the Gripen fighter jets, SAAB, has now publicly acknowledged that R24 million was paid as bribes to persons in South Africa through their former South African subsidiary, Sanip which is controlled by BAE Systems.

I am also aware that the Directorate for Priority Crimes (Hawks) is at present busy following-up on these allegations. Doubts have however already been expressed as to whether the case would progress further at all.

You as president are on record that you would have said that the government is serious about the eradicating of corruption and that it will not be tolerated. The arms deal is not only damaging the image of the SANDF but also that of the whole of South Africa . In my opinion the only real solution is that there will for once and for all be a final investigation about the whole arms deal programme.

In the light of this, I request you to appoint a commission of inquiry, preferably a judicial commission, to investigate this whole matter. Finality about the issue could be secured though such an investigation and the books can then be closed.

Your favourable consideration of this matter will be highly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.



Statement issued by Mr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus chief spokesperson: Defence, September 15 2011

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