Publication: Issued: Date: 2001-08-29 Reporter: sapa Editor:

Arms Deal : Cross Examination Continues

Date 2001-08-29
Reporter sapa
Web Link


The cross examination of Richard Young is set to continue today when the public hearings into allegations of wrongdoing in the multi-billion rand arms deal resume in Pretoria.

Yesterday, Young, the star witness in the investigation, was grilled by a lawyer for the defence department, Michael Kuper.

The inquiry heard that the personal beliefs of a disgruntled defence contractor partly sparked the allegations of wrongdoing in the arms package.

This emerged as Young was being questioned about his view that the product of a competitor who beat him to a tender was inferior.

"So, it is your beliefs that have sparked all these allegations?" asked Kuper. Young responded: "To a certain extent, yes." Kuper earlier remarked: "That highly self-interested perspective of yours explains much of the problem."

He also suggested that Young had deliberately sought to discredit the country's arms procurement process through the media after he lost the contract.

Young is the managing director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), a Cape Town-based defence information technology company. He contends there were irregularities in the awarding of a R40-million tender for information management systems (IMS) used in the four corvette ships South Africa bought as part of the arms package.

CCII was named the preferred supplier of these systems, Young claims. The tender was, however, awarded to French company Detexis, the sister company of African Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik's brother, Shabir, is a shareholder and director.

Starting his cross examination, Kuper observed that there had been hundreds of bidders in the arms package as a whole. There had been no litigation by any of those who lost out. The only complaint came from Young, Kuper said. 

With acknowledgement to Sapa and