Publication: Independent Democrats Issued: Date: 2003-09-06 Reporter: Patricia de Lille

De Lille Response to Netshitenze and the Government Communications

Media Statement

Independent Democrats

on the

Arms Procurement Process - De Lille Response to Netshitenze and the Government Communications



Issued by : Independent Democrats

Attention : News Editors

For immediate release

The response by Netshitenze and the Government Communications is pedantic if not downright pitiful. de Lille has every right as political leader of the Independent Democrats, and an elected representative to question any political figure in this country. The response by the GCIS seems to portray the President as a revered god, almost an autocratic ruler that should never be asked to substantiate his actions. If Political leaders can't question him, who has the right to do so? The President is not above reproach or question and if Government Communications accepts the credentials of Thabo Mbeki unquestioningly, it is their prerogative. To expect Patricia de Lille to do the same, is absolutely mindless.

Joel Netshitenzhe's blunder is further manifested by his reference to submarines in his response. Patricia has consistently spoken regarding the corvette acquisition process and not the submarine acquisition as reported by Netshitenzhe.

To attack the media, intelligence operatives and unsuccessful bidders in the same breath, further illustrates the GCIS inability to understand delicate and complex matters. Suddenly there are enemies behind every bush.

For the record, Patricia de Lille did not accuse President Thabo Mbeki of any wrongdoing and has repeatedly communicated this to the press over the past 2 days. Let it also be categorically stated that Patricia de Lille is not acting on, and has never been approached to act on behalf of unsuccessful bidders in the Arms Deal.

The same kind of responses came from government when Patricia de Lille raised the issues of alleged corruption in September 1999. Invariably the initial response from government is insult and character assassination, rather than responding to the substance of the issue at hand.

These are the facts with compliments from the Independent Democrats to the office of the Spokespersons of the President:

A. Strategic Defence Packages Joint Report, Ch 7, pg 223 clause 7.7.2

" The decision to allow bidders to supply information after the offers had been submitted constituted a deviation from proper procurement practice."

B. Strategic Defence Packages Joint Report, Ch 6, pg 192, clause 6.8.5

"The Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) evaluation worksheets indicated that only Fincantieri complied with the minimum requirements in order to qualify for the next round of the DIP evaluation. A legal opinion from Armscor's legal division sought by the evaluation team confirm that the German consortium had failed materially to meet the essential requirements of the DIP.

The outcome of this legal opinion was not communicated to Strategic Offers Committee (SOFCOM) to enable its members to take it into consideration when making recommendations. Messrs Shaik and Esterhuyse gave approval that all bidders who had failed to meet the minimum criteria be allowed to take corrective action in order to proceed to the next round of the DIP evaluation."

C. The allegation contained in the de Lille Dossier raised questions of the involvement of then Deputy President Thabo Mbeki.

D. Allegations contained in the de Lille Dossier related to a success fee in the contract between Thyssens and Futuristic Business.

E. Several media reports confirmed the involvement of President Thabo Mbeki negotiating with relevant bidders.

I want to expose corruption so as to prevent it from taking root in our young democracy. I feel that my actions have been vindicated by the events over the last few years as almost all of the people I named in the de Lille dossier have since been investigated and evidence of wrongdoing has been uncovered.

For more information contact :
Marlon Kruger on 083 212 2109

With acknowledgement to Patricia de Lille and the Independent Democrats.

Reference : Arms Procurement Process - Response to Allegations by Ms Patricia de Lille