Publication: The Star Issued: Date: 2001-03-13 Reporter: Khathu Mamaila Editor:

De Lille Slams "Campaign" to Discredit Her

Publication  The Star
Date 2001-03-13
Reporter Khathu Mamaila
Web Link

Pan Africanist Congress MP Patricia De Lille has lambasted the government for what she termed "a vicious campaign" to discredit her and sources associated with the probe into the R43-billion arms deal. 

Responding to a report in The Star that the key source of the documents that formed the basis of the investigation, one Bheki Jacobs, whose real name is Hassan Solomon, could have fabricated the documents to get back at the African National Congress, De Lille said she refused to be drawn into discussing her sources in the media. 

However, she said it was clear the government had devised a vicious strategy to discredit her and sources related to the arms deal. 

'The real issue is not the source but the substance' 

"By trying to discredit the source, they are trying to discredit me. I will not be drawn into speculation by people who want to impress the government. 

"The real issue is not the source, but the substance of the allegations that have been made. 

"What you know is just a tip of the iceberg. This campaign against me has not moved me. I will not waver in demanding a full investigation into the arms deal. The government wants to divert attention to other issues so that people could forget about the real investigation," she said. 

She said there was enough evidence that warranted a probe, citing the reports of the auditor-general and the standing committee on public accounts. 

Justice ministry spokesperson Paul Setsetse dismissed De Lille's argument as nonsense. He said that despite her utterances, De Lille had not produced any evidence to back up her claims of massive corruption in the deal. 

With acknowledgement to Khathu Mamaila and Independent Online.