The Seriti Arms Deal Commission of Inquiry

C4Cat

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Citation about the German Prosecuting Authorities' actions on Ferrostaal's conduct.

*edit*

Here's the Ferrostaal submission, where they mainly make the legal case why their report shouldn't be included.

http://www.armscomm.org.za/hearings/witness-statements/Ferrostaal.pdf

Can't find anything about the German Prosecuting Authorities doing what Mbeki says they did.
Mbeki didn't make that claim, he pointed out that this was what the commission found:
the Judicial Commission established that the German Prosecuting Authorities had investigated the corruption allegations relating to Ferrostaal, which investigations were started by the Düsseldorf Prosecutor’s Office. This Office then referred further investigations to the Bochum Prosecutor’s Office (Staatsanwaltschaft Bochum). Having carried out these investigations, the Bochum Prosecutor’s Office communicated to the Düsseldorf Prosecutor’s Office and said:
31. “As regards the background assumed by the (Düsseldorf) author of the memo (filed as) folio 7 et seq. of the files (bribery of foreign officials) it is to be noted that no specific or substantial evidence whatsoever exists that would corroborate that assumption.”
So the citation would be the commissions report.
 

OrbitalDawn

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Mbeki didn't make that claim, he pointed out that this was what the commission found:

So the citation would be the commissions report.
Which I just linked, and it's not in there. What now?
 

Gordon_R

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The saga continues: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/seriti-commission-process-flawed-lawyers-tell-court-20190611
The process of the Seriti Commission, which found that there was no evidence of corruption in the "arms deal", was flawed, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Tuesday.

"We know that there is a constitutional obligation to combat corruption and to combat it, is to expose it.

"The commission was set up to find out if corrupt activities took place in the arms deal and found that there was none. However, the commission did not investigate properly," advocate Geoff Budlender, SC, argued on behalf of organisations Right 2 Know (R2K) and Corruption Watch (CW).
Budlender highlighted several "topics of failure" in the manner in which the commission gathered and considered relevant material and evidence.

In his heads of argument, Budlender also stated that the commission failed to consider two thirds of documents from the Scorpions and the Hawks.
 

ToxicBunny

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Interesting, even the Presidency (which is a respondent) is not fighting it, and as near as damnit agreeing with R2K and CW on this one...
 

ponder

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Pretoria - The Seriti Commission which appointed to probe allegations of corruption and fraud during the acquisition arms deal since 1999 until 2003 had “materially failed to do a job which it was appointed to do”.

This was the damning ruling of the full bench of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday morning following an application by two civil society organisations, Corruption Watch and Right2Know Campaign, to set aside the ruling of Judge Willie Seriti.

Seriti was appointed to chair the commission in October 2011 to probe allegations of corruption and malfeasance and he made his final findings on December 23, 2015.

In his findings, Judge Seriti and his team found no substantive allegations of corruption against politicians and other officials, especially former SANDF Arms Acquisition head Chippy Shaik and businessman Adv Fana Hlongwane.

The full bench comprising Judge Dennis David, North Gauteng High Court’s Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and North West Judge President Monica Leeuw, however, agreed with Corruption Watch and Right2know Campaign that the Commission had failed to do their job.
 

R13...

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About time they also start holding some of these white wash judges and commissioners to account. They need to start feeling the pinch of being in the pockets of politicians when chairing supposed independent commissions of inquiry.
 

RonSwanson

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About time they also start holding some of these white wash judges and commissioners to account. They need to start feeling the pinch of being in the pockets of politicians when chairing supposed independent commissions of inquiry.
Agreed. Willie "mampara" Seriti should pay back the money.
 

surface

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Interesting, even the Presidency (which is a respondent) is not fighting it, and as near as damnit agreeing with R2K and CW on this one...
Different president though. :) Anyone would hardly fight something that reflects poorly on predecessor.
 

ToxicBunny

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Different president though. :) Anyone would hardly fight something that reflects poorly on predecessor.
I know it was a different Presidency, but it was telling that they pretty much agreed with R2K and CW...
 

surface

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Gordon_R

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IOL can't even get Judge Dennis Davis name right:
Judge Dennis David
On a slightly hopeful note: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/seriti-arms-deal-report-can-no-longer-be-used-as-a-defence-by-zuma-former-mp-andrew-feinstein-20190821
Seriti arms deal report can no longer be used as a defence by Zuma - former MP Andrew Feinstein
If the corruption case against former president Jacob Zuma proceeds to trial, he will no longer be able to use the arms deal commission of inquiry, which found that there was no evidence against him, as a defence.
Maybe wishful thinking:
Following the judgment, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must also investigate and charge all the others involved in corruption in the deal, including prominent South Africans and international arms companies BAE Systems, Thyssen Krupp, Ferrostaal, Thales and Saab, Feinstein added.
 

LCBXX

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You cannot make this up. The network of patronage run deep.
 

Gordon_R

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Longer article on the implications of this judgement: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-08-21-decision-to-set-aside-seriti-commission-findings-will-have-a-profound-impact/
The judgment of the High Court on Wednesday is clear and unambiguous in finding that the commission made no attempt, at any time, to conduct a meaningful investigation into the Arms Deal. It found that “the inquiry and investigation that the commission was called upon to undertake never materialised”.

In summarising its findings, it also damningly found that that due to “so manifest a set of errors of law, a clear failure to test evidence of key witnesses, a refusal to take account of documentary evidence which contained the most serious allegations which were relevant to its inquiry, the principle of legality dictates only one conclusion, that the findings of such a commission must be set aside”.

The judgment will have a long-term and profound impact on South African politics and future commissions of inquiry. For the first time, South Africa’s courts have ruled that commissions of inquiry are reviewable, and must be conducted in line with the principle of fairness and legality. It also confirms that investigations by commissions must be pursued with an “open and enquiring mind”. This judgment creates a test of future commissions of inquiry, and sends a warning to all future commissions of inquiry that they must investigate matters under their purview fairly, fully, and with an “open and enquiring mind”.
 

Gordon_R

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Adriaan Basson doubts if anything will come out of this case: https://www.news24.com/Analysis/analysis-arms-deal-judgment-unlikely-to-reopen-mbeki-era-prosecutions-20190821
Somewhere in Pretoria, under a tree at the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) head office, stands a shipping container filled to the brim with documents implicating politicians, businessmen and civil servants in corruption.
Of course, it suited all sides of the ANC very well to let the arms deal slip, because pretty much every faction you can think of and the party itself was implicated.

That possibly explains why the Mbeki faction didn't fight terribly hard against the dissolution of the Scorpions after Zuma's election as ANC president at Polokwane in 2007. It suited both camps to bury the arms deal and shut the shipping container's doors.
Mlambo has now reopened the case and, by extension, the shipping containers at the NPA, now headed by Advocate Shamila Batohi, who has enough work of her own to give attention to 20-year-old files.

I doubt whether the Hawks or the NPA will invigorate some of the forgotten arms deal prosecutions. We have moved on to the next big chapter of grand corruption called state capture and the country is waiting anxiously for Batohi to make her first move.
 

Gordon_R

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And not forgetting Aunty Pat, who blew the whistle 20 years ago: https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/ruling-on-arms-deal-shows-that-rule-of-law-still-prevails-de-lille-20190821
"In the 20 years that have passed since I blew the whistle on the corrupt arms deal, South Africa’s integrity has taken a beating," De Lille said.

“We have slipped, in the perception of many, from the high table of global ethics and morality to occupy a much lower position beset by allegations of malfeasance and maladministration, on the one hand, and continuing inequity and grinding poverty on the other."

De Lille said, one of the biggest mistakes made in the democractic South Africa had been the failure to bring "crooks in the state system to book", and that it had all started with the arms deal.

"Had we drawn a legal line in the sand and slammed the door on corruption 20 years ago, we would have prevented much of the looting of the state that followed.
 

TysonRoux

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CR isn't lily white, but if a Zuptoid was in his place this court hearing wouldn't even take place.
 

schumi

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EFF demands that Judge Seriti be held liable for costs

Pretoria - The Economic Freedom Fighters said Judge Willie Seriti, who chaired the commission of inquiry into the controversial arms deal and those who appointed him, must be held liable for the costs after his findings were overturned by the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday.


Corruption Watch and Right2Know brought an application to set aside the findings of the commission which both organisations argued misled the public by exonerating politicians and public servants.


The EFF said it would be an insult not hold Seriti liable for costs after the inquiry racked up a bill of almost R140 million, and still failed to make adverse findings on people who were implicated.


The party said it was unacceptable that the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was held personally liable for costs in some matters she was handling, while those in the Seriti Commission "deliberately" failed to perform their mandate, but were exempted from paying.


"We have therefore instructed our lawyers to look into whether it will be possible or advisable to approach the courts to protect the rights of the public, by demanding consistency on the part of the judiciary," the party said in a statement.




The party said it would also seek legal advice on reviewing the findings following the commission of inquiry into the Marikana killings.

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