Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2014-05-28 Reporter: Fanie van Rooyen

Commission hears tales of hypocrisy



The Witness

Date 2014-05-28
Reporter Fanie van Rooyen
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REAR admiral (retired) Johnny Kamerman yesterday accused whistle-blower Dr Richard Young in front of the Seriti commission of not revealing all the facts during his company’s involvement with the SA Navy’s procurement of frigate warships.

Kamerman said Young had also kept secret his role in a British company.

Kamerman was the former project officer in charge of purchasing new frigates for the navy. He said Young’s allegation that the British company BAeSema had been forced to withdraw a tender offer for the combat suites of the frigates due to “extreme pressure” from highly placed officials, was not the whole truth.

“What he never told the commission is that he actively pursued BAeSema and had created the joint venture company Advanced Systems Management (ASM) with BAeSema and Tellumat with the aim of tendering for the supply and maintenance of combat suites for all the frigates in the fleet,” Kamerman said.

“The aim was to take over the functions of African Defense Systems (ADS), a South African company that had been specifically developed to help establish a local maritime technology core.”

Kamerman described Young’s actions as “hypocritical”, because he did not divulge to the South African role players in the navy his role with BAeSema.

He said had Young and ASM succeeded in the plans, 450 South African employees at ADS would have been taken over by a British company.*

The commission continues.

With acknowledgement to Fanie van Rooyen and The Witness.

*        Ironically, instead of 450 South African employees at ADS being taken over by a British company they were taken over by a French company.

ADS had in any case courting all an sundry from French (Thomson-CSF), British (BAeSEMA), German (STN Atlas), Swedish (CelsiusTech) and American to be taken over by them.

Ironically, just a short while later that all this happened the CEO of Armscor issue a formal letter instructing the GFC to seek alternatives offers for the corvette combat suite.

There is no hypocrisy here, just pure business realities.