Publication: SABC Issued: Date: 2001-08-29 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Young could Sue State after Arms Probe

Publication  SABC
Date 2001-08-29
Reporter Sapa
Web Link


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. 

Richard Young confirmed that he had considered suing the state for between R100 million and R200 million over alleged irregularities in the procurement of the defence package.  

"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," Kriegler said. 

"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.