Right2Know (R2K) and Corruption Watch (CW) will be in court on 11th and 12th June to finally review and set aside the findings of the Arms Procurement Commission (‘the Seriti Commission’), after several years of dogged scrutiny of the flawed processes and ongoing efforts to hold the commission accountable.
The fact that this matter will finally receive a public hearing in court is a result of persistent efforts by civil society to not let up on this matter, which has great significance for the future success and credibility of such commissions in South Africa.
It is in the public’s interest for judicial commissions of inquiry to ensure that proceedings are transparent and yield the results that they were set up to investigate. The CW and R2K application, as reported in April, found that the Seriti Commission failed miserably to conduct the most routine of investigations, arriving at the conclusion that there was no evidence of corruption in the arms deal.
This application will ensure that those implicated in corrupt arms deal activities will not be able to claim that they were exonerated by the commission, and may even be required to have their own day in court to face the legal consequences of their actions.
In April of this year, the Presidency made clear that it would not oppose the application, and would be willing to make submissions in court. Next week provides an opportunity to highlight the ways in which the commission failed to comply with its mandate. These include:
- How the commission lied to the public and hid evidence of corruption
- Failure to access information abroad, or to investigate serious allegations of corruption put before it; and
- Failure to investigate new allegations that have come to light.
Dates: Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 June 2019
Venue: High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division,
Paul Kruger & Madiba St, Pretoria Central, Pretoria
GPS: E 28, 18708; S -25.74534
We have developed a dossier of frequently asked questions (FAQs) relating to the arms deal that goes back several years. This document can be accessed here.
Phemelo Khaas (CW) firstname.lastname@example.org 083 763 3472
Busi Mtabane (R2K) email@example.com 083 329 7844