Defamation Claims Against Young Possible
English Translation for : Laster-eise Moontlik Teen Young Ingedien
Pretoria – A contractor who alleges that
he was wronged by the Defence Force in the allocation of a contract in the R43
billion armaments transaction, could be in danger of not getting an arms
contract in the future.
He may also be faced with civil actions being brought against him because of alleged defamation.
Dr Richard Young of CCII, a supplier of military computer systems, has been battling for months for compensation for the loss of getting a contract for the information management systems for the Navy’s four new Corvettes.
Young did get contract work of R23 million from the corvette transactions, despite the loss of the contract for the information management systems.
This week, while giving his testimony at the public hearings into alleged irregularities in the awarding of the contracts, he made various statements to support his case.
RAdm(Junior Grade) Johnny Kamerman, project officer of the corvette programme, said yesterday that an investigation will be instituted into Young’s secret classification of Young and his organisation as contractors to the Defence Force and Armscor.
This classification, which is strictly controlled after an extensive vetting process, is done before contractors can tender for armaments contracts. In Young’s testimony he quoted from secret documents which he was not allowed to have in his possession. He admitted that he gave confidential information to the media.
According to Kamerman, state security has been brought into jeopardy. As officer in charge of the safety of the corvette programme, he would have to test Young’s future trustworthiness.
If, in the outcome of such an investigation, it was found that Young had violated the confidentiality in terms of his classification, he could be scrapped as a contractor due to the breach of confidentiality with the state.
It is understood that, without qualification, highly secret information could just fall into the hands of an enemy entity if it were released to the media.
This week Young, along with his legal team, walked out of the arms hearing after he testified and rebutted several accusations. They indicated that the cross_examination under Adv. Selby Baqwa, chairman of the hearing panel, was unfair.
Adv. (sic) Terry Mahon, legal representative for Mr Chippy Shaikh, chief of weapons acquisitions of the Defence Force and the brother of Mr Schabir Shaikh, director of African Defence Systems (ADS), of which the sister company Detexis won the contract for the information management systems, said yesterday that his client was "weighing up legal steps against Young".
Young accused Shaikh of swinging the contract in ADS’s favour because of his brother’s position. According to Mahon, his client would be making a decision while the official investigation was underway.
According to Mr Robert Driman, legal representative for ADS and Thomson-CSF, shareholder in ADS and Detexis, a civil action is "pertinent on my client’s agenda".
Young said in his testimony that the system Detexis was using was "obsolete" and not of the highest quality, while it was technically "inferior" to his own system.
The public hearings ended yesterday. A report by the investigating teams on the alleged irregularities was expected in mid-September.
With acknowledgements to Erika Gibson and Die Burger.