Richard Young has his Day
|Publication||Defence Systems Daily|
The aggrieved managing director of a Cape Town based defence information technology company was scheduled to continue his testimony at the hearings into the government's multi-billion rand arms programme on Tuesday.
his testimony in Pretoria on Monday Communications Computer Intelligence
Integration Systems' (CCII/C2I2) Richard Young, the first witness outside
government to testify in the public hearings into the arms deal, accused
prominent figures of misrepresenting facts to procure the strategic defence
implicated by Young include the head of acquisition in the Defence Department
Chippy Shaik, former Corvette programme manager Frits Nortje, and Corvette
project officer Rear Admiral (JG) Johnny Kamerman.
also disputed earlier testimony heard by the presiding panel in several
respects. It was, for example, difficult to believe evidence by Cabinet
ministers that the government had nothing to do with the awarding of
subcontracts, Young said.
company was named the preferred supplier of information management systems (IMS)
for the Navy's new Meko A200SAN corvettes which moved the company to spend its
own resources in addition to state funding to develop the systems, Young
claimed. The tender was, however, later awarded to French company Detexis.
Detexis -- through Thales -- is the sister company of African Defence Systems
(ADS), of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik's brother, Schabir, is a
shareholder and director.
on Monday said Shaik misrepresented facts when he told Parliament's public
accounts committee (Scopa) that CCII had acknowledged its systems needed further
development, the SA Press Association reported. Shaik also erred when told the
committee that CCII's IMS was a "unique technology" and "that in
fact it is a technology and not a product". Young told the panel:
"This statement misrepresents the true facts. The IMS consists almost
entirely of an integrated set of commercial off-the-shelf products."
furthermore told Scopa that CCII had been asked for a performance guarantee but
refused to do so. "This is completely untrue," Young testified.
"We were never asked for such a guarantee, either verbally or in
writing." Young further testified that South African companies developing
electronic sub-systems for mainly corvettes at their own cost were guaranteed
contracts if and when the vessels were purchased. "What was said... was
that the State could not guarantee that the contractors who took such risks
would eventually receive the contract because they could not guarantee that the
Corvette programme would eventually materialise," Young said.
"However, it was said that if and when the Corvette acquisitions were
finally approved, then these contractors who had taken risks in developing their
elements would be guaranteed their part of the contract."
Young's evidence it seems clear the persons making the guarantees were either
not authorised to make such claims or were later over-ruled. This is consistent
with allegations from a number of losing international bidders in the programme
that a number of "pro's" had "conned" them by promising an
inside track in the bidding process. That they had been misled became apparent
acknowledgment to Leon Engelbrecht and Defence Systems Daily.