Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2001-08-30 Reporter: Sapa

Peeved Arms Contrator had Two Deep Throats



Mail and Guardian





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DISGRUNTLED defence contractor Richard Young had more than one "deep throat" feeding him with classified inside documents he used to raise doubts about South Africa's arms deal. Not all the information he received was authentic, the public hearings into the deal revealed in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Young was being cross-examined by Shane Dwyer on behalf of the German Frigate Consortium which won the contract to build four corvettes for the SA Navy. Dwyer wanted to know why Young deleted only certain documents he referred to in his testimony of the past three days. "Because they came from different sources," Young said.

Dwyer commented: "So, you had two deep throats." He went on to point out that one crucial document cited by Young was an early draft that was stolen in a burglary. "I was not involved in the sourcing of the documents," Young retorted. Dwyer said: "I suggest you look very carefully at your sources before you make these allegations again."

Young is the managing-director of Communications Computer Intelligence Integration Systems (CCII), a Cape Town-based defence information technology company. He contends there were irregularities in the awarding of a R40-million tender for information management systems (IMS) used in the four corvette ships South Africa bought under the arms package. CCII was named the preferred supplier of these systems, Young claims.

The tender was, however, awarded to French company Detexis. Detexis is the sister company of African Defence Systems (ADS), of which arms acquisition head Chippy Shaik's brother, Schabir, is a shareholder and director. Young was later extensively questioned by Puke Maserumule, for Armscor, about the origin of the classified documents he had used. "If they came from someone in Armscor, it would be a matter of great concern," Maseumule said.

Young responded that he was virtually certain the source was not from the arms procurement agency. He said he had provided forensic investigators into the arms deal with full details on the origin of the documents. "It was surprising that the documents were given to me, and I was surprised at their contents. The person who gave it to me did not know what they contained."

Young added that he had not asked for the information. He completed his testimony late on Wednesday after facing cross-examination from various interested parties from 9am.

The hearings continue on Thursday when evidence in rebuttal will be heard from, among others, retired SA Navy Chief Rear-Admiral Robert Simpson-Anderson. - Sapa

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Mail and Guardian.