Publication: Cape Argus Issued: Date: 2003-11-03 Reporter: Estelle Ellis

Arms Bidder Denies National Security Breach



Cape Argus

Date 2003-11-03


Estelle Ellis

Web Link


Two secret navy documents in electronics maker Richard Young's R150-million lawsuit against the government over the arms deal have sparked a row about national security.

The annexures are attached to court papers in which Young's lawyers state his case.

But they are part of the SA Navy's "Combat Suite User Requirement Specification", which is classified "confidential".

Young said he had been officially and legitimately in possession of an issued version of this document.

He pointed out that one annexure is unreadable except for the phrase "Key: Local Industry Supplier".

"The other reason Armscor security is coming after me for 'breach of security' is that we published my aide memoire I used at Public Protector hearings on our website.

"This we sure did, about two weeks after the hearings and after the transcripts were published in the public domain."

The aide memoire was read word for word into the public record and the panel chair, Selby Baqwa, permitted the press to be given printed copies during the hearings.

The minister of defence had authorised the use of the material in the hearings, Young said.

This had been done in terms of a signed ministerial authorisation in terms of the Defence Act and the Armscor Act, he said.

He has launched a defamation case against Rear-Admiral Johnny Kamerman, corvette project officer for the navy, who first claimed that Young had jeopardised national security.

With acknowledgements to Estelle Ellis and the Cape Argus.