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

Those Implicated are to Testify Again


Publication  Pretoria News
Date 2001-08-30
Reporter Hannes de Wet


Individuals implicated this week in the public hearings into South Africa's arms deal yesterday asked for an opportunity to give evidence in rebuttal.

They included retired navy chief Rear-Admiral Robert Simpson-Anderson and Rear-Admiral Johnny Kamerman, currently stationed in Germany.

He was project officer for the corvette programme when the strategic arms package was procured.

Chairman of the presiding panel Public Protector Selby Baqwa agreed that those implicated had a right to testify again.

Adm Simpson-Anderson's integrity had, for example, been challenged, Mr Baqwa said.

The two men are to give evidence today. Robert Young, managing director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), a Cape Town-based defence information technology company, on Tuesday rejected parts of evidence given earlier by ADM Simpson-Anderson.

Mr Young also accused Adm Kamerman of misrepresenting facts on price audits of the corvettes when he appeared before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee last year.

Mr Young contends there were irregularities in the awarding of a R40-million tender for information management systems (IMS) used in the four corvette ships South Africa bough under the arms package.

CCII was named the preferred supplier of these systems, Mr 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 Chippy Shaik's brother, Schabir, is a shareholder and director.

Adm Simpson-Anderson earlier testified that Mr Shaik had rescued himself from corvette programme meetings where his conflict of interest was relevant.

"I believe this not to be true." Mr Young said on Tuesday.

Yesterday morning Martin Kriegler, for ADS, suggested to Mr Young that there had been good reason not to opt for CCII's product for the corvettes.

Mr Kriegler said if CCII's IMS systems had been used in the corvette combat suite, it would have been difficult to identify the cause of any problem that might develop.

Mr Young disagreed, saying CCII had done extensive studies to make it easy for engineers to locate such problem causes.

Mr Kriegler suggested that the IMS was not a proven product, which constituted another risk. This was also disputed by Mr Young.

The hearing continues.

With acknowledgements to Hannes de Wet, Sapa and Pretoria News.