Publication: Issued: Date: 2001-12-09 Reporter: Editor:

Arms Deal - NNP Passes Loyalty Test


Date 2001-12-09
Submitted Raenette Taljaard


The assertion by NNP MP Johan Durand`s that the report into the Arms Deal was "credible and comprehensive" is a whitewash, to say the least. The ANC must be patting Mr Durand and his colleagues on the back. They have passed their first loyalty test with flying colours.

Mr Durand, in his role as the Jonathan Moyo of the NNP, reveals just how intimate his party has become with the ANC through his fervent praise of the deeply flawed Joint Investigation Team report into the arms deal.

It is interesting to note the contrast between the statement released by Mr Durand`s colleague, Francois Beukman, a few days before the ANC/NNP deal, which expressed dissatisfaction with the report, and Mr Durand`s more recent praise for it - ten days after the deal with the ANC was concluded. Perhaps the NNP could tell us what they really think?

Mr Durand appears to have already forgotten that a founding principle of the ANC/NNP agreement was that "each party will retain its identity and autonomy". Lavish applause for this report, which answers none of the questions raised by SCOPA and the Democratic Alliance, could come only from a party which has wilfully blinded itself to its faults.

SCOPA was denied the right to fulfil its oversight role because responsible ministers refused to appear before it, Parliamentary rules and the Constitution were flouted, and ANC members insisted on terminating discussion long before proceedings had been completed. It was a process of evasion and avoidance, not discovery.

South Africans have yet to be given a detailed breakdown of the expected future cost of the deal, given the fall in the rand and evidence of additional costs for equipment which has not been budgeted for. Various other crucial questions remain unanswered.

With acknowledgement to Raenette Taljaard.