Publication: SABC News Issued: Date: 2001-01-25 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

I Never Recommended Heath's Exclusion, Says Auditor-General

Publication  SABC News
Date 2001-01-25
Reporter Sapa
Web Link

Shauket Fakie, the Auditor-General, today said that his office had never recommended that the Heath Special Investigating Unit be excluded from the probe into the government's controversial R43 billion arms acquisition programme.

Fakie was responding to recent media reports that created the impression his office had changed its position on the unit's participation, he said.

His office's stance had been all along that should the unit be granted a proclamation by President Thabo Mbeki, it would be part of the probe as had been indicated during the preliminary strategy meetings.

Fakie, who is heading the current three-agency forensic investigation, said the skills and experience of the Heath unit could add value to the probe.

It was against this background that he had supported the investigating team's recommendation to Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that a proclamation be issued to enable the unit to take part in the probe.

"However, the Auditor-General does not see it as his role or function to become involved in the decision on the inclusion or exclusion of the Heath unit from the investigation," Fakie said.

Fakie, the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions, and the Investigating Directorate of Serious Economic Offences, said after a recent meeting they believed they had enough powers to conduct a proper probe

With acknowledgement to Sapa and SABC News.