Publication: Sapa Issued: Parliament Date: 2003-11-20 Reporter: Sapa

Fakie's Exoneration Premature






Date 2003-11-20


The exoneration of Auditor-General Shauket Fakie from charges that he materially altered a draft report on the arms deal after a meeting with the Cabinet was premature, the Democratic Alliance said on Thursday.

Parliament's public accounts committee (Scopa) cleared Fakie of the allegations on Wednesday after comparing the relevant chapter of the draft with the final report.

DA public accounts spokesman Nigel Bruce said the decision was contrary to evidence that Scopa had not even discussed.

"At best this "exoneration" is therefore premature. At worst, it could be a deliberate attempt by the (African National Congress) majority to use Parliamentary procedures to obscure an embarrassing reality," he said.

He said it was clear from the documents the Auditor-General was forced to release to C2I2, that there were several drafts of the report and that omissions in the final report from earlier drafts were material.

C2I2 is a failed bidder for one of the sub-contracts in the arms deal.

Bruce said there was reason to question the quality of the audit.

"If Scopa does not have the will or the resources to tackle this matter, it should at least be discussed by Parliament."

He said the way the matter had been handled cast serious doubt on the Auditor-General's integrity.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.