Evidence Doubted in Arms Hearing
PRETORIA. The testimony of Dr Richard Young on the investigation of the government’s R43 billion armaments transaction has been described yesterday by a high-ranking naval officer as "nothing more than an attempt to derive commercial advantage".
Young, director of the Cape Town Company CCII, testified on Tuesday and Wednesday that he was unlawfully disadvantaged when his company did not receive the contract to supply data busses for the navy’s four corvettes.
Rear Adm (Jnr Grade) Jonny Kamerman, Director of Corvette Acquisition, started yesterday to contradict these claims with detailed evidence.
After he said a few times that Young did not understand or had ignored certain information, Adv. Selby Baqwa, Chairman of the Hearing Panel, asked him how this was possible as Young was such an intelligent man.
Kamerman said that he wanted for a moment to remove his naval officer’s hat and then said that he did not believe a word of it (that Young did not understand the process). Young merely wanted to obtain financial advantage from the process.
When he replaced his naval officer’s hat, he said that he did not understand Young’s actions.
In his evidence Kamerman indicated at length that the navy did not at any stage undertake to Young that CCII would receive the contract for the data busses.
He further indicated that Young made a bid for the contract at a stage whereat he now claims that he was already chosen by the navy as the preferred contractor.
Although several other companies were in the same position as Young, not one of them made the same claims or accusations because they understood that the navy made no undertaking towards them.
Young and his legal representative left the hearing before Kamerman started with his evidence because they could not be there today and therefore could not undertake the cross-examination.
Baqwa said via a spokesperson that this behaviour could be seen as cowardly.
Young delivered a long monologue, but the moment when there were strong arguments against him, he walked out. Young had previous insight into Kamerman’s evidence and knew what was coming, but was not prepared to refute it.
WIth acknowledgements to Die Burger and Neels Jackson.