ANC STATEMENT ON RELEASE OF FINDINGS OF SERITI COMMISSION
21 April 2016
For almost two decades, the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (the so-called Arms Deal) has occupied the South African discourse as a result of the many accusations of corruption and impropriety levelled against it by a number of individuals.
It was for this reason that in 2011 the African National Congress welcomed the President’s decision to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the allegations of wrongdoing, irregularity and impropriety into the purchase of equipment for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
We did so cognisant of the fact that such commission would provide an opportunity to those who allege misconduct to present evidence to support their assertions. Over a period of four years a comprehensive investigation , which had the full cooperation of the South African government, was undertaken. Today, the President of the Republic of South Africa, Comrade Jacob Zuma released the findings of the Commission which notably indicate amongst others, in relation to the terms of reference, the following:
1. It was necessary for the SANDF to acquire the equipment in fulfilment of its constitutional mandate and international obligations of peacekeeping and peacemaking
2. All equipment purchased has been well-utilised in fulfilment of the SANDF’s mandate
3. All jobs it had been envisaged would be created as result of the Strategic Defence Procurement Package have been created and estimates are that they exceed the initial estimates
4. There was no evidence of undue or improper influence in the selection of the preferred bidders
5. No evidence supported the allegations of bribery, corruption or fraud in the arms procurement process
The ANC welcomes the release of the findings, as well as the full report, into the public domain by the President. The Commission undertook an exhaustive process and afforded all those with information regarding the claims of wrongdoing to place it before the Commission for consideration.
All presentations were fully considered by the Commission which ultimately dismissed all allegations of bribery, corruption and fraud in the procurement process. The ANC reaffirms its confidence in the credibility of the process and trust that the Commissions report will bring to finality the allegations and claims of wrongdoing in the Arms Deal.
Statement issued by Zizi Kodwa, ANC national spokesperson, 21 April 2016