Arms Firm Sues to get Information
English Translation for : Wapenfirma Dagvaar om Inligting te kry
A company that is of the opinion that it has been prejudiced in the arms deal, has sued the Auditor-General (AG), the Public Protector (PP), the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Defence to obtain access to information concerning the arms deal.
Dr Richard Young, managing director of C²I², is suing these institutions in accordance with the Promotion of Access to Information Act. It will be the first time that this Act is tested in court.
Young told Rapport that the institutions had been sued two weeks ago and they have already indicated their intent to appeal the application.
Young’s company lost an arms deal contract worth millions of rands after a risk value was added to his tender even though the company was originally chosen as the preferred supplier.
Young has accused Mr Shauket Fakie, AG, of protecting someone in cabinet by not wanting to make the draft reports available.
He says the Public Protector notified him that he had incorrectly completed his application form for access to the information. The Public Protector also does not like the fact that he has threatened legal action to get the information.
Fakie stated, in a letter to Young’s company, that the company is requesting too many documents. The Auditor-General’s office apparently does not have the resources to make everything available.
The documents are also confidential and contain sensitive information about the country’s defence requirements.
Young has threatened with huge claims against the state for his loss due to the arms deal tender procedure.
Young also requested information from Armscor, ADS and the Frigate Consortium.
According to Young, Armscor requested an extension of 90 days. ADS has sent an "inappropriately worded" lawyer’s letter to him stating that ADS is a private company and that the Promotion of Access to Information Act does not apply to them.
Young said the German Frigate Consortium notified him that they were established under German law and therefore this South African act doesn’t apply to them.
According to Young this is nonsense, because the Consortium has had offices in South Africa for the past few years.
With acknowledgements to Andries Cornelissen and Rapport.
We also refer you to a follow up
letter by Bertus Celliers, Manager: Corporate Communication, Armscor
Rapport, 10 March 2002 :
Armscor is Giving Attention to This Request