Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2014-06-04 Reporter: RM Young

Getting facts straight



The Witness

Date 2014-06-04
Reporter R.M. Young
Web link

YOUR story “Commission hears tales of hypocrisy” (May 28) conveys a somewhat negative impression of me.

I was not contacted for comment and cannot leave it unchallenged.

The negative inferences of the relevant evidence at the Arms Deal Commission last week and from which the story originates are entirely untrue.

Despite repeated requests to be given the witness statement in advance to prepare a cross-examination, the commission published this 771-page document only the day after its witness completed his evidence-in-chief. The witness’s attorneys sent an unsigned version at midday the day on which their witness commenced his evidence-in-chief.

Clearly I could not conduct a cross-examination to rebut the evidence led, before the witness left the stand and returned the next day to his foreign base.

Almost the same thing occurred with the Armscor witness whom I also wanted to cross-examine in March. That statement arrived a week after he commenced with his evidence-in-chief and four days after he completed it.

Furthermore, the majority of documents I have sought for over a year to prepare for cross-examination have never been produced, yet in early March I had a commission’s order to produce over 1 000 documents in a week.

My response is brief because the commission is still sitting and apparently I am to be called as a witness, a prospect about which I now have mixed feelings.

Cape Town

With acknowledgement to RM Young and The Witness.

That's what one gets for 225 words - The Witness's maximum length letter.

But it is still very powerful.

Better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Maybe it is a sharp stick in the eye.

A good lesson - don't do perjury.