Parliament's Arms Deal Probe Hits Cash Snag
Parliament's watchdog public accounts committee may have to find millions of rands from either Parliament or outside sources to help pay for an investigation into South Africa's controversial R30-billion arms deal. This emerged after a meeting in Pretoria on Monday between Judge Willem Heath; Auditor-General Shauket Fakie; Public Protector Selby Baqwa; and Glenda Ferreira, a representative of the Investigating Directorate: Serious Economic Offences, which falls under National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka's office.
Of the four agencies, only Mr Ngcuka's office has budgeted funds for such an investigation, with the other cash-strapped agencies expected to need supplementary funding for what will arguably be the largest investigation in the country's history. The cost factor was put on the meeting's agenda by the auditor-general's office, a source close to the process said yesterday. It is understood committee members acknowledged they may have erred by not including the issue in the committee's resolution adopted by Parliament earlier this month.
It called for a multi-agency probe into the R30-billion arms deal. Committee chairman Dr Gavin Woods was mandated at Monday's meeting to approach Parliament's presiding officers about the matter. It is not known how much the probe would cost.
With acknowledgement to Sapa and the Cape Argus.