Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2011-06-05 Reporter: Sapa

DA to hand over arms deal memo to Parliament



Mail and Guardian



Reporter Sapa
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The DA will hand over a six-page memorandum to Parliament's watchdog public accounts committee (Scopa) chairperson Themba Godi, which "raises some serious questions about the controversial decision to close the investigation into the multibillion-rand arms deal", Democratic Alliance MP David Manier said on Sunday.

"The memorandum was drafted by General Hans Meiring, divisional commissioner responsible for commercial crime in the Hawks, and was obtained as a result of a request, in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, for documents relating to the decision to close the investigation into the arms deal," he said in a statement.

Download the memo

The memorandum recommended that Hawks head Anwa Dramat close the investigation into British Aerospace (now known as BAE Systems) and the German Frigate Consortium (GFC) legs of the arms deal.


Manier said the memorandum was "poorly drafted, and contained a number of contctions and errors of fact".
The Mail & Guardian on June 3 published some of the more questionable aspects of Meiring's memo, which include:

"It is hard to believe that this memorandum, riddled with contradictions and factual errors, formed the basis of the decision to close the investigation into the arms deal," said Manier on Sunday.

"General Anwa Dramat has, for more than six months, resisted the request to provide an update in 'exhaustive detail' on the status of the investigation into the arms deal to Scopa.

"Evidently, General Dramat and the Hawks think they are beyond scrutiny and oversight by Parliament. The memorandum will hopefully provide a sufficient basis for summoning General Dramat and the Hawks to appear before Scopa."

Manier said the DA would therefore provide a copy of the memorandum to Godi and call on him to summon Dramat to appear before Scopa to explain the decision to close the investigation into the arms deal.

"The fact is that General Anwa Dramat and the Hawks should not be allowed to avoid being held accountable to Parliament." - Sapa and Staff reporter

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Mail and Guardian.