Publication: SABC News Issued: Date: 2001-01-29 Reporter: Editor:

Arms Deal Probe Crucial to Parliament's Future - Ginwala

Publication  SABC News
Date 2001-01-29
Reporter Sapa
Web Link

The investigation into the government's R43 billion arms acquisition programme was crucial to Parliament's future, National Assembly Speaker Frene Ginwala said today.

In a special address to the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) she said: "The way we deal with it is going to have a very big impact on Parliament."

Ginwala said she had indicated more than once that research was available from Parliament to help in the probe, but this offer had not been taken up.

When she had first seen Scopa's report - adopted by the National Assembly on November 2 last year - on the arms deal, she had not written to the executive as she had not believed there was any specific action the executive needed to take.

Following media reports, she had examined the report again, sought further legal advice, and continued to believe there was nothing that was needed to be referred to the executive.

Ginwala said Parliament and Scopa had to continue its work on the arms controversy. Nothing stopped the institutions probing the matter - the public protector, the national directorate of serious economic offences or the auditor-general - from sharing any information with Scopa or any other bodies.

However, Scopa would have to examine what it would share. Any forensic help from outside would have to come from the President's office, she said.

With acknowledgement to Sapa and SABC News.