Young could Sue State after Arms Probe
The outcome of the
probe into South Africa's controversial multi-billion arms deal could prompt a
large lawsuit against the state, a private defence contractor says.
confirmed that he had considered suing the state for between R100 million and
R200 million over alleged irregularities in the procurement of the defence
"That will depend
on the outcome of this investigation," says Young after being asked at the
Pretoria hearings whether he still intended going to court. However, yesterday
he refused to reply to a similar question.
Young is the managing director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), a Cape Town-based information technology company. He contends that there were irregularities in the awarding of a R40 million tender for information management systems (IMS) used in the four corvettes 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. While Detexis is the sister company of
African Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik's
brother, Shabir, is a director.
Young confirms that he told a newspaper about the lawsuit
Young, today confirmed
that he told a newspaper in January he would seek legal remedy for his alleged
loss if the matter was not probed by the Special Investigating Unit, at the time
headed by Judge Willem Heath.
Replying Martin Kriegler, of ADS during cross-examination, Young said he postponed the matter (lawsuit) when the probe was referred to three state investigating agencies.
On his public complaint about the loss of the
contract, Young denied he had been mischievous by saying in a television
interview that the Detexis product was old technology. "You planted the
idea in the public mind that taxpayers' money had been spent on a dud,"
"I was not mischievous, but was reacting to questions," responded Young.
Kriegler said he would
demonstrate that the Detexis system was actually cutting edge technology, adding
it was also acquired by the British navy.
Young maintained that
the Detexis technology was "extremely retrogressive", and had been
used since the 1950s.
With acknowledgment to Sapa and SABC News.