Arms Deal : Cross Examination Continues
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 iafrica.com.