Publication: Business Day Issued: Date: 2001-08-30 Reporter: Bonile Ngqiyaza Editor:

Young "Stole" Armscor's Idea

Publication  Business Day
Date 2001-08-30
Reporter Bonile Ngqiyaza
Web Link


A C˛I˛ Systems executive has taken technology developed under the auspices of government armaments agency Armscor and tried to sell it off as his own.

That was the assertion made yesterday by a legal representative for African Defence Systems (ADS) at the public phase of the probe in Pretoria into SA's controversy-wracked armaments deal. Martin Kriegler, the legal representative for ADS, put the version directly to the executive, C˛I˛ Systems MD Richard Young, who said while there could be a link, the finished product was different.

Young's testimony to the hearing is considered important because he is the only witness before the commission who claims to have evidence of irregularity in the arms deal.

Yesterday was the second day lawyers for government and some of the companies Young has accused of being responsible for his firm losing out on a contract for the corvette tested his evidence. Legal representatives have indicated to the commission that they might ask for some of the witnesses who have already testified to be recalled in order to refute some aspects of Young's evidence.

A great deal of time was spent yesterday trying to show that there was a link between Young's work up to the early nineties and the development of the navigation technology he claimed as his own.

Young worked at the time for a company called UEC Projects, which in turn looked at developing combat navigation work for Armscor.

Kriegler said the technology which was overlooked for a contract on the corvettes deal "was technology developed under the auspices of Armscor".

Young has admitted what he calls his information management system (IMS) could be "the embryo, but not the genesis" for his system.

Kriegler was not convinced by the response, however. He said a trip Young had taken to the UK at the time was designed to seize the opportunity presented by a gap he saw in the market and to make contacts.

He commented disapprovingly of Young's attempt "(to) sell off (the idea) in this forum as something that you had developed off the bat".

Kriegler wanted to know if Young would proceed with a threatened civil suit for compensation . Young said in his response: "What I (have) said was I would head off any litigation until we (have) exhausted all forms of internal remedies."

Kriegler criticised a statement Young made in the media that "the technology bought by the SA Navy is extremely retrograde, old technology".

"It is mischievous for people like yourself," he said, "to put out a message in the public's mind which is normally suspicious of these things.

"(A message) that not only was much money spent, but that it was spent on a dud." 

With acknowledgment to Bonile Ngqiyaza and Business Day.