OPEN LETTER to Minister Penuell Maduna

Dr Penuell Maduna
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development
Private Bag X276

Dear Dr Maduna


I am writing to you as a Member of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) and as a Member of Parliament for the United Democratic Movement (UDM). I address this open letter to you in the interest of upholding the principle of transparency and to protect what is in the publicís interest.On Friday 3 November 2000, Parliament unanimously adopted the Fourteenth (14th) Report of SCOPA on the above-mentioned matter. One of the key elements in this Report reads as follows:

"In noting the complex and cross-cutting nature of the areas to be investigated, the Committee feels that the investigation would be best served by combining a number of areas of investigative expertise and a number of differing areas of legal competence and authority. It therefore recommends that an exploratory meeting, convened by the Committee, be held within two weeks of the tabling of this Report in National Assembly. The Auditor-General, the Heath Special Investigating Unit, the Public Protector, the Investigating Directorate of Serious Economic Offences and any other appropriate investigative body should be invited, so that the best combination of skills, legal mandates and resources can be found for such an investigation."

All that SCOPA and Parliament are interested in, is a credible investigation of the Strategic Arms Purchases.

I therefor urgently appeal to you, in your recommendation, to not exclude any of the investigative bodies mentioned in the Report adopted by Parliament. More particularly, in the light of the high profile of the international- and national attention that this investigation has already generated; do not exclude the Heath Investigative Unit from the four-member task team.

I furthermore urge you to not pose an alternative investigative body to replace the Heath Investigative Unit. The reason being that SCOPA had good motive to choose the current four-member task team, and all political parties, represented on SCOPA, supported this.

Please respect this democratic decision and recommendation, which will strengthen South Africaís international image and will defuse any speculation of undue interference by the Executive and Government.
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