ANC Statement on Court Ruling
The African National Congress welcomes the dismissal by the Cape High Court of the application to have the strategic arms procurement programme scrapped.
Contrary to claims by applicant Terry Crawford-Browne, the ANC-led government was acting within its constitutional and legal obligation to ensure the defence force is adequately equipped.
The arms deal was informed by a lengthy and comprehensive assessment of the country's defence needs, which had the support of almost all parties in Parliament.
Government went to great lengths to balance the cost of the arms procurement against the other pressing demands on the country's resources, and took a number of steps to minimise the cost. Because of the approach taken by government, the equipment was secured at very favourable rates.
The arms procurement process was probably the most transparent, thoroughly researched and effectively managed * major procurement in this country's history.
While opposition parties continue to make claims of corruption, they have yet to produce compelling evidence to this effect. The investigation conducted into the matter by the Auditor-General, Public Protector and National Director of Public Prosecutions found no evidence of corruption relating to the selection of primary contractors ** by government ***.
Findings that other individuals may have attempted to obtain "undue benefit" particularly in the awarding of the sub-contracts by the primary suppliers - in which government was not involved **** - were correctly referred to the Scorpions for investigation *****. The normal legal process must take its course.
Issued by :
African National Congress
PO Box 61884
4 March 2004
More information :
Smuts Ngonyama 082 569 2061
With acknowledgement to Sapa.
* Sure, Joe Modise and Chippy Shaikh very effectively managed a lot of the business right into the ever eager paws of their brothers and brothers-in-law.
** Except, off course, Thomson-CSF who bride J.G. Zuma, Schabir Shaikh who is a director and shareholder of both Thomson-CSF (Southern Africa) (Pty) Ltd as well as African Defence Systems (Pty) Ltd (ADS) and Alain Thetard CEO of Thomson-CSF and Chairman of ADS who fled to France afyer the Scorpions issued a warrant for his arrest for bribing Zuma.
*** Even though Chippy Shaikh had formally advised Thobi Mbeki, Alec Erwin and the rest of the Ministers Committee of his conflict of interest, these absolutely innocent ministers still allowed Chippy Shaikh to formally brief them on the very matter of his conflict of interest and to act as the secretary of their MINCOM meetings.
**** The Government and the ANC just never seem to cease their bare-faced lying in this regard.
***** Who, apart from charging Schabir Shaikh and some of his Nkobi Group companies and exonerating J.G. Zuma, have done exactly diddly squat about it for the last three years.