The piece below was written by Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and published on SANews.
The opposition and all the doomsayers who still do not understand the value of transparency leadership should now hold their peace with the latest findings.
The President of the Republic, President Jacob Zuma, announced the full details of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package, commonly referred to as the ARMS DEAL.
In April 2011, President Zuma announced Judge Seriti of the Supreme Court of Appeal, as the Chairperson of the Commission of Enquiry into the Arms Deal. The Commission was composed of Senior Judges of high standing and integrity, who have impeccable track records in the legal and judicial systems.
These sons and daughters of the soil, with impeccable track records and independent minds and held in high esteem by their peers and have displayed unquestionable leadership attributes in their added responsibilities other than presiding in the Courts of Law, announced that there are no traces of corruption, irregularities or fraud in the Arms Deal investigations.
The case against the State by the opposition along with their cheer leader, Terry Crawford-Browne, have been thrown out of the Appeals Court.
The Arms Deal critic Terry Crawford- Browne, and the main Political Opposition Parties who called the results of the Commission a “ White Wash “ have lost the Constitutional Court bid to have the Arms Deal Commission results set aside.
The Seriti Commission of Inquiry probed the 1999 multi-billion rand deal case and found that there were no evidence that any of the contracts were tainted by evidence of wrongdoing. This Government had from the very beginning pronounced that it will lead a democratic Constitutional State that values and promotes transparency in the affairs of Governance.
It allowed the Seriti Commission’s findings to be tested by the Constitutional court.
The people of South Africa can now come to terms with the truth with the Court’s verdict and appreciate that their Government and its intentions of procuring Strategic Arms has always been transparently conducted and its commitment to promoting a peaceful united and stable continent and a better world is a reality.
South Africa is recognised and highly respected as a peace broker by the International Community.
In the year 2000, our country’s Defence Force contributed immensely to the African Union peacekeeping missions using the procured arms. The SANDF peacekeeping missions have been well appreciated by the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Darfur and the Nepals.
Our Government listens to the voice of its citizens. It welcomes and appreciates calls from whistle blowers. Respects the voice of the Opposition in Parliament. This became evident when it appointed the Seriti Commission of Enquiry into the Arms Deal procurement strategy to address the concerns of the citizens of South Africa.
Mr Terry Crawford-Browne, who has been following this case for years, led the Opposition and took the Commission’s findings to the Constitutional Court where the Court finally pronounced the verdict on the matter in favour of the Seriti Commission of Enquiry. We can only hope that the Opposition will now finally respect the verdict as pronounced by the Constitutional Court.