Publication: Sapa Issued: Bloemfontein Date: 2006-02-14 Reporter: Sapa

Auditor-General and Arms Deal Company in Court






Date 2006-02-14



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The Supreme Court of Appeal was expected to hear argument in an appeal by Auditor-General (AG) Shauket Fakie on Wednesday against a high court ruling that he was in contempt of court in a matter related to the multi-billion rand arms deal.

Fakie appeals against a Pretoria High Court judgment that had failed to comply with a court order to give CCII Systems (Pty) certain documents pertaining to the government's arms procurement process. CCII Systems (Pty) was one of the sub-contracting bidders to supply two sub systems -- namely the System Management System (SMS) and Navigation Distribution Sub-System (NDSS) -- of the combat suite for navy corvettes.

The company was successful in its tender for the SMS. However, following allegations that the arms procurement process had been irregular and corrupt, the AG conducted a preliminary review during the 1999/2000 financial year.

The AG's report was submitted to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) which in return asked the AG together with the Public Protector and the National Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate the claims.

A report was tabled in Parliament in November 2001.

CCII Systems was not satisfied with the report's findings and instituted proceedings under the Promotion of Access to Information Act, which were successful.

At a later stage the company instituted further proceedings contending that the AG had not complied with the court order.

The Pretoria High Court in October 2004 found in the company's favour, declaring that the AG had failed to comply with the earlier court order. It had also found that the AG was in contempt of court.

The appeal is against this judgment.

With acknowledgement to Sapa.