Arms Deal : Those Implicated to Testify
implicated this week in the public hearings into South Africa's arms deal on
Wednesday asked for an opportunity to give evidence in rebuttal.
They included retired
navy chief Rear-Admiral Robert Simpson-Anderson and Rear-Admiral Johnny Kamerman,
currently stationed in Germany. He was project officer for the corvette
programme when the strategic arms package was procured.
Chairman of the
presiding panel, Public Protector Selby Baqwa, agreed that those implicated had
a right to testify again. Simpson-Anderson's integrity had, for example, been
challenged, Baqwa said. The two men are to give evidence on Thursday.
Robert Young, managing
director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), a
Cape Town-based defence information technology company, on Tuesday rejected
parts of evidence given earlier by Simpson-Anderson.
Young also accused
Kamerman of misrepresenting facts on price audits of the corvettes when he
appeared before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee last year. Young 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 under the arms package.
CCII was named the
preferred supplier of these systems, Young claims. The tender was, however,
awarded to French company Detexis. Detexis is the sister company of African
Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik's brother,
Schabir, is a shareholder and director.
earlier in the hearings testified that Shaik had recused himself from corvette
programme meetings where his conflict of interest was relevant.
"I believe this not to be true," Young said on Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning Martin Kriegler, for ADS, suggested to Young that there had been good reason not to opt for CCII's product for the corvettes.
Kriegler said if
CCII's IMS system had been used in the corvette combat suite, it would be
difficult to identify the cause of any problem that might develop. Young
disagreed, saying CCII had done extensive studies to make it easy for an average
engineer to locate such problem causes.
"This was not a
risk," he said.
that the IMS was not a proven product, which constituted another risk. This was
also disputed by Young.
The hearing continues.
acknowledgment to Sapa and Business Day.