Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2000-11-16 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Arms Scandal is Crucial Test for SA Democracy

Publication  Business Day
Date 2000-11-16
Reporter Sapa
Web Link

THE arms acquisition scandal, with allegations of corruption, lies, cheating, and "downright fraud", was a crucial test for SA democracy generally and for the second democratic Parliament in particular, the Democratic Alliance said yesterday.

In a speech prepared for delivery in Pretoria, DA chief whip Douglas Gibson said that what eventually transpired would be a crucial test also for the independent watchdog organs, which provided a vital oversight role to prevent and expose corruption.

"The DA members supported the arms acquisition deal on the basis of the information that the government provided. If that information proves faulty, incorrect or even fraudulent, then the government has no genuine parliamentary mandate for the arms purchases," Gibson said. 

"It would be too awful if instead of building up the SA National Defence Force, which is needed, or if instead of building schools, houses, hospitals and roads, a large portion of the money has stuck to criminal fingers," he said.

The R43bn deal will be the focus at a parliamentary public accounts committee hearing being held on Monday. Sapa. 

With acknowledgement to Sapa and Business Day