Publication: KZN Sowetan Issued: Date: 2001-08-30 Reporter: Sapa Editor:

Arms Deal Witnesses Return to the Stand


Publication  KZN Sowetan
Date 2001-08-30
Reporter Sapa


Two people implicated in this week's public hearings into South Africa's multibillion rand arms deal are to be given the opportunity to refute evidence heard against them.

Retired navy chief Rear-Admiral Robert-Simpson-Anderson and Rear-Admiral Johnny Kamerman, now stationed in Germany, are expected to take the stand today. Kamerman was project officer for the corvette programme when the arms deal was arranged.

The chairman of the panel, public protector Selby Baqwa, agreed that those implicated had a right to testify again. He said that Simpson-Anderson's integrity had been challenged by evidence heard this week.

Baqwa was referring to the testimony of Mr Robert Young, managing director of Cape Town-based defence information technology company Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), which contradicted Simpson-Anderson's earlier account.

Young claimed that there were irregularities in the awarding of a R40 million tender for information management systems used in the four corvettes bought as part of the deal.

Though CCII was named the preferred supplier of these systems, Young said, the tender was awarded to French company Detexis.

This was irregular since Detexis is a sister company of African Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Mr Chippy Shaik's brother, Mr Schabir Shaik, is a shareholder and director, he said.

At earlier hearings Simpson-Anderson testified that Shaik had recused himself from meetings where his conflict of interest was relevant.

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

On Wednesday morning Mr Martin Kriegler, for ADS, suggested there had been problems with CCII's product for the corvettes. Young disagreed.

Young also accused Kamerman of misrepresenting the facts on price audits of the corvettes when he appeared before Parliament's public accounts committee last year.

The hearings continues.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and KZN Sowetan.