"No Explanation" from Lekota for Inflated Cost of Arms
|Publication||Cape Times - Business Report|
Johannesburg - Mosiuoa Lekota, the defence minister, could not explain why the public was misinformed about the cost of the controversial arms deal, he said yesterday. The deal, initially expected to cost R30 billion, ended up costing R45 billion.
"When the deal was signed the rand was not worth what it is today," Lekota said on SABC television. "No one could predict that the rand would have moved." The deal, signed in late 1999, has been the subject of repeated corruption claims. Lekota said it would not be cancelled and would create 65 000 jobs as promised. Patricia de Lille, an MP for the Pan Africanist Congress, told Lekota the Cabinet had misled South Africans about the eventual cost of the deal. "They cannot justify their actions," she said.
De Lille said she was prepared to testify against the top government officials involved in the maladministration of the deal. - Sapa
With acknowledgement to Sapa and the Cape Times.