Publication: Issued: Cape Town Date: 2002-02-04 Reporter: Editor:

Contractor Continues Access to Arms Info Bid


Issued  Cape Town
Date 2002-02-04
Reporter Sapa


Private defence contractor Richard Young on Monday moved to exhaust all internal processes before applying to the Cape High Court for access to information and documents regarding the arms deal.

Auditor-General Shauket Fakie last month denied Young access to the information, on the grounds that it contained detailed and confidential information relating to South Africa's security and defence needs.

Relying on Section 78 (1) of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, Young said in a letter to Fakie on Monday that the legislation provided that he could only seek relief from a court after an internal appeal procedure had been exhausted.

"In the circumstances, please be advised that we do indeed have sufficient grounds to disagree with your decision and that we hereby lodge such an internal appeal in terms of Section 74 of the Act."

Young heads C2I2, which was originally listed by the SA Navy as the preferred supplier of combat technology for the navy's four new corvettes, which form part of South Africa's multi-billion arms deal.

He lost the corvette contract to the Thomson Group and African Defence Systems (ADS), a shareholder of which was Schabir Shaik the brother of Defence Department arms acquisition chief Shamin "Chippy" Shaik.

The investigation -- led by Fakie, National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka and Public Protector Selby Baqwa found that Chippy Shaik had a conflict of interest in the arms procurement deal.

With acknowledgements to Sapa.