The arms deal is
back on the agenda of parliament's
public spending watchdog, the standing committee on public
accounts (Scopa), which has set down three days of hearings
to probe continuing investigations into the
controversy-ridden defence package.
DA MP and defence spokesperson David Maynier said on
Wednesday a meeting on August 4 would discuss the handover
of cases from the National Prosecuting Authority to the
Scopa chairperson Themba Godi has confirmed that hearings at
parliament have been set down for August 10, 11 and 13.
Maynier said the hearings would give Scopa the opportunity
to probe "mysterious changes" made to the joint
investigation report presented to Parliament in 2001. It
exonerated the government of any wrongdoing.
Efforts by the DA to rekindle scrutiny of the deal in Scopa
ground to a halt in 2008, when it was agreed any fresh probe
would depend on whether new evidence was brought before the
"There is quite unambiguous evidence available in the public
domain that the draft version of the joint report was
substantially altered, to radically change the nature of the
report's findings," Maynier said.
This refers to documents provided by Richard Young, director
of a company that lost a bid in the deal to African Defence
Systems - in which Schabir Shaik's Nkobi companies had a
stake - which show how a draft version of the joint report
ANC MP and whip on the committee, Mandla Mbili, said Scopa
members would need to scrutinise the report and the
documents provided by Young to decide whether they in fact
amounted to new evidence.
This article was originally published on page 2
of The Mercury
on July 22, 2010
With acknowledgements to Gaye Davis
and Independent Online.
In the context of
SCOPA, this is indeed new evidence.
It is tautologous: the SCOPA investigations effectively came
to a halt on parliament's acceptance of the JIT report in
early December 2001.
The documentary evidence showing the changes to the JIT
Report was only obtained in circa 2005.
SCOPA has never investigated the changes to the JIT Report.
In fact, since October 2000, SCOPA hasn't investigated much.
The 1999 Arms Deal - the loss of the New South Africa's
Other than the 2010 Soccer World Cup, it's been all downhill
Anyway, let's properly get all that behind us and go
all out for Olympics 2020.