Publication: Sapa Issued: Parliament Date: 2003-03-14 Reporter: Angela Quintal

Fakie Denies Speculation He Will Quit






Date 2003-03-14


Angela Quintal

Auditor-General Shauket Fakie on Friday denied rumours he would soon quit, following speculation in parliamentary corridors that he planned to move to the private sector.

"The Auditor-General, Mr Shauket Fakie, hereby wishes to inform all stakeholders that there is no truth to these rumours and he has no intention of resigning," the brief statement read.

When first approached by Sapa on Thursday he said "It's the first time I have heard of that. I will see my contract through."

Fakie, a career accountant, became South Africa's first black Auditor-General in December 1999. His seven-year, non-renewable contract, ends in December 2006.

A source told Sapa the rumours had been fuelled by a few ambiguous comments from Fakie about his future.

However, ruling party MPs on Parliament's standing committee on public accounts -- which regularly deals with the AG's office -- said they were not aware of the rumours.

In his role as AG, Fakie was at the centre of a joint investigating team probe into allegations of irregularities in the multi-billion arms deal.

On Wednesday, Fakie dropped his opposition to an attempt by a losing bidder to gain access to documents relating to the outcome of the investigation into the controversial arms acquisition programme.

Fakie's withdrew his appeal against a Pretoria High Court ruling in favour of a request from Richard Young for the information.

Young's Cape Town-based computer systems company CCII Systems lost out on a contract to supply combat technology for the South African Navy's four new corvettes.

The contract went instead to French company Detexis, a sister company of African Defence Systems (ADS).

Schabir Shaik, the brother of the Department of Defence's former head of acquisitions, Chippy Shaik, was a shareholder in ADS.

Young claimed there were irregularities and political interference in the selection process, and applied for documentation used during the investigation into the arms deal, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

Among the documents requested is the draft arms probe report, which preceded the final report tabled in Parliament in November 2001.

Young claimed that Cabinet had sight of the draft and had insisted on some changes, a charge denied by Fakie.

The final report found no evidence of wrong-doing by government.

With acknowledgement to Angela Quintal and Sapa.