SACP welcomes arms deal inquiry's terms of reference

Party says allegations almost brought country's unity to point of collapse


The SACP notes and welcomes the terms of reference that were announced today by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development in relation to the Commission of Inquiry into the allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages. We further welcome additional measures announced in relation to process and powers of the commission.

The issue of alleged impropriety into the Strategic Defence Procurement Packages, known to the ordinary folk as the 'arms deal', has been a sore and divisive issue in our efforts of nation building and deepening our democracy. The country's unity was almost at the brink of collapse because of how the allegations kept on cropping up, often with political intent to discredit the ANC and particular leaders of the ANC.

It is time now that the country deals with these matters in a responsible manner going forward. It is indeed encouraging that President Zuma took such measures besides his name being associated, often unfairly, with such allegations. We applaud the President and government broadly for such broad initiatives and the commitment to root out corruption.

Without nit-picking and at the risk of being accused of blowing our own horn, it is worth reminding all and sundry that when the SACP first made the call for the establishment of a commission of enquiry we were ridiculed, called all sorts of names and a premature autopsy of our organisations carried out by those who have no interest of nation building and those cannibals whose politics are characterised by vying for the blood of not only the ANC but particular ANC leaders. The SACP is under no illusion of the underhand activities that have come to characterise arms trade globally. We are hopeful the commission will help us arrive at common solutions.

The SACP is quite confident that notwithstanding the stubborn challenges of poverty unemployment and inequality, we are making the requisite progress in relation to the call we made in the run up to Polokwane for a change of heart in dealing with vexed questions confronting South Africa.

There is no more room for corruption, perceived or real, in our society. Let us deepen the campaign to 'Red Card' Corruption in all sites power and in society.

Statement issued by the SACP, October 27 2011

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