Publication: Daily News Issued: Date: 2001-08-30 Reporter: Editor:

Contractor could Sue State after Arms Probe


Publication  Daily News
Date 2001-08-30
Reporter Sapa


PRETORIA: The outcome of the probe into South Africa's arms deal could prompt a large law-suit against the State, a private defence contractor said yesterday .

Mr 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.

Asked yesterday at the Pretoria hearings into the arms deal whether he still intended going to court, Young said: "That will depend on the outcome of this investigation".

On Tuesday he refused to rely 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 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.

Detexis is the sister company of African Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Mr Chippy Shaik's brother, Schabir, is a director.

Young confirmed 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.

During cross-examination Mr Martin Kriegler, for ADS, said: "Eight months have gone by and you still haven't gone to court".

Young replied he had postponed the matter 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.

Mr Terry Mahon, for Mr Chippy Shaik, grilled Young on his assertion that Shaik had not recused himself from all meetings where his conflict of interest was relevant.

The hearings continues.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Daily News.