Publication: Cape Times Issued: Date: 2001-08-22 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Arms Deal Witness will not Testify if "Hindered"

Publication  Cape Times
Date 2001-08-22
Reporter Sapa
Web Link


PRETORIA: A key witness in the public hearings into South Africa’s arms deal notified the state yesterday that he would not testify if he was hindered by restrictions on his evidence. 

Richard Young, managing director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration (CCII) Systems, said he had sent a letter to this effect to the state attorney earlier in the day. 

This came after Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota ruled that Young could only testify if he refrained from referring to confidential and classified documents. 

Young said from Cape Town: “Until I have unfettered and unqualified authorisation to testify freely, I am not going to give evidence.” 

Public Protector Selby Baqwa’s office said it had no objection to the conditions imposed on Young as they “would not impede the proceedings”. 

Young is to testify about alleged irregularities in the awarding of a R40-million tender for information management systems used in the four Corvettes South Africa bought as part of the arms package.  

He claims his company was named the preferred supplier, but the tender was later awarded to French company Detexis, sister company of African Defence Systems, of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik’s brother Schabir is a shareholder and director. 

Young is to testify next week.  

With acknowledgment to Sapa and the Cape Times.