Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2013-02-01 Reporter: Glynnis Underhill

Seriti has 'cooked his own goose'



Mail & Guardian

Date 2013-02-01

Glynnis Underhill

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Cape Town businessperson  Richard Young believes arms procurement commission chairperson Judge Willie Seriti should resign in the wake of startling claims by a former senior legal investigator that he had a secret "second agenda".

Young is one of 11 remaining witnesses due to give evidence in the first round of the commission's public hearings in March. However, he is perturbed by the claims made by Pretoria lawyer Mokgale Norman Moabi in his resignation letter addressed to Seriti.

The resignation letter was made public after it was leaked to the Mail & Guardian and Beeld. The lawyer claimed that Seriti had a "total obsession" over the control of the flow of information to and from the commission and that there was a clandestine preparation of documents and briefs handed to evidence leaders.  Young said no witnesses could feel confident following these revelations.

Moabi has a solid professional background as both a former president of the Law Society in the Northern Provinces and former acting judge in the North Gauteng High Court.   After Seriti rebutted his accusations, an unbowed Moabi challenged Seriti to take a lie-detector test, which he said he would also take if Seriti obliged. Seriti asked Moabi to provide evidence for his claims.

Yet Young said  that Seriti had "cooked his goose". "The commission must get a new commissioner who we can all trust," he said. "Or it must go."

This is not the first contentious attempt to unravel the corruption behind the 1999 arms procurement deals. In 2001, an investigative team, consisting of the auditor general, the public defender and the national director of public prosecution, found no grounds to believe that the government had acted "illegally or improperly".  It was Young who revealed that their initial report had been doctored to state that there was no proof of government "irregularities, fraud or corruption".

Young's company, CCII Systems, lost the tender for the navy's new corvettes.

With acknowledgement to Glynnis Underhill and Mail & Guardian.

The sauce is a disgusting mixture of escargot and garlic.

In the meantime Fana Hlongwane gets released by the commission from testifying, at least in the first group of witnesses.

Why can't I get released by the commission from testifying, at least in the first group of witnesses?

Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.