Judgement has been reserved in an urgent application to review and set aside the findings of the Seriti Commission into the Arms Deal.
This after civil society organisations, Corruption Watch and Right2Know challenged the Commission’s final report in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
The report found there was no fraud, corruption or irregularities in government’s 1999 Arms Procurement deal.
Advocate Geoff Budlender, representing the organisations, argued that the inquest failed to gather the relevant material evidence that would have assisted it to reach a different conclusion.
President Cyril Ramaphosa did not oppose the application and indicated that he will abide by the decision of the court.
Corruption Watch attorney, Debra Muthemwa-Thumbo, says whatever the judgement is, the justice system has a prerogative to re-investigate the validity of the arms procurement deal.
“We feel that the findings are completely incorrect and we do also think it’s telling that the president himself has decided to abide by whatever decision the court comes to. We are not calling for a commission of inquiry, that is a presidential prerogative, but we do feel that the criminal justice system should start pursuing these allegations and should investigate further. If the argument that they aren’t binding and therefore cannot be set aside should stand, then I think the South African people do deserve to know that commissions of inquiry serve no purpose,” says Muthemwa-Thumbo.
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