Publication: Cape Argus Issued: Date: 2003-05-29 Reporter: Sapa

DA Wants AG to Reveal Mbeki's Role in Editing of Report



Cape Argus

Date 2003-05-29



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The Democratic Alliance has asked the Auditor-General to reveal the role of President Thabo Mbeki in the editing of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report on the arms deal.

The DA's Raenette Taljaard said in the National Assembly yesterday Auditor-General Shauket Fakie's statement this week served to confirm that key issues were either "edited out or glossed over" by the JIT.

Taljaard called on Fakie "to reveal the extent of consultation with the executive in terms of Section 4(6), who in the executive was involved, what role was played by the president in this regard given that the current president chaired the interministerial cabinet committee tasked with this procurement, and what requests were received from the president and other ministers concerned in respect of the JIT report".

Earlier DA chief whip Douglas Gibson called on the house to establish an ad hoc multiparty committee to investigate the arms deal, and to call all those implicated to testify before parliament. A furore erupted last week when documents released to CI managing director Richard Young showed that the JIT report was edited by the executive before being presented to parliament in November 2001.

But, in a statement this week, Fakie said Section 4(6) required that certain audits such as defence, finance, or intelligence should be discussed with the executive so that issues in the national interest were not released to the public.

Fakie also charged that Young had not read the JIT report accurately, because all the sections that Young had alleged had been edited out were, in fact, in the report.

However, the DA said Section 4(6) was a hangover from the apartheid days, was probably unconstitutional, and should not have been carried over into a democratic dispensation.

With acknowledgement to the Cape Argus.