Publication: Sapa Issued: Date: 2004-05-05 Reporter: Jannie Momberg

Arms Deal Challenge in Court




Date 2004-05-05


Jannie Momberg

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Cape Town - The challenge to South Africa's arms deal goes back to court on Wednesday when Economists Allied for Arms Reduction (Ecaar) asks for leave to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

The Cape High Court in March rejected Ecaar's bid to have the deal declared unconstitutional on the grounds that the multi-billion rand financial liabilities could prove catastrophic to the constitutional imperative of socio-economic upliftment.

The court said in its ruling the organisation had erred in targeting Finance Minister Trevor Manuel for signing the loan agreements, instead of directing its attack at the original cabinet decision approving the deal.

Ecaar spokesperson Terry Crawford-Browne said on Tuesday Ecaar would be back in the High Court on Wednesday asking for leave to appeal in Bloemfontein.

It would be arguing that it was entirely correct in citing Manuel, whose signature on the loan agreements was what gave effect to the arms deal.

With acknowledgements to Sapa, Jannie Momberg and News24.