Publication: Natal Witness Issued: Date: 2001-09-01 Reporter: Editor:

Young may Face Libel Action


Publication  Natal Witness
Date 2001-09-01
Reporter Own Correspondent


A Contractor who alleges that he was deceived by the SANDF over an arms deal contract runs the risk of not getting any future contracts. He may also face civil claims for libel.

Dr Richard Young of CCII, a supplier of military computer systems, has been waging a months-long battle for compensation for the loss of a contract for a weapons control system for the navy's four new corvettes.

Young was awarded contracts for R23 million as part of the corvette deal, despite the loss of the weapons management system contract.

During this week's public hearings into alleged irregularities in the awarding of the contracts, he made several disputed points in support of his position.

Rear-admiral (junior grade) Jonny Kamerman, the corvette programme project officer, said yesterday the security classification of Young and his company as defence force and Armscor contractor will be investigated.

During his testimony, Young quoted sections of classified documents, which he wasn't supposed to have in his possession. He acknowledged that he gave secret information to the media.

According to Kamerman, state security was therefore compromised. He said that as the officer in charge of the corvette programme, he would have to test Young's future trustworthiness to avoid further risks.

Advocate Terry Mahon, the legal representative of Chippy Shaik, the army's chief weapons procurement official and brother of Shabir Shaik, the director of African Defence Systems (ADS), whose sister company Detexis won the weapons control systems contract, said his client is considering legal steps against Young.

Young accused Shaik of swinging the contract in favour of ADS because of his brother's position.

The public hearings ended yesterday. The final report by the investigation team is due in the middle of September.

With acknowledgements to Natal Witness.