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UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

TRADE AND INDUSTRY OFFICIAL'S VIP CAR DISCOUNT CASTS A SHADOW OVER ARMS DEAL INVESTIGATION

STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA, MP
UDM PRESIDENT

The UDM welcomes the belated decision by the Department of Trade and Industry to investigate and sanction the activities of Mr Vanan Pillay with regard to his acquisition of a discounted VIP car through arms manufacturer EADS.

The revelations regarding Mr Pillay and other state employees acquiring discounted luxury vehicles, casts a shadow over the already controversial arms deal. The revelations that Mr Pillay and others did receive gifts and did not declare these properly, brings into disrepute the statements by Minister Erwin and other Ministers before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee, earlier this year. So too, it undermines the Minister's testimony before the public hearings into the arms deal. The Minister contended that no single person could influence the deal and that he, and the other Cabinet members on the arms acquisition committee, had hands-on control over the process. As the revelations about high-ranking and influential officials increase, so the credibility of these government assertions of complete and utter propriety in the arms deal dwindles.

The UDM is especially concerned that the arms deal investigators may have been led astray by these vehement claims that the arms deal is completely above suspicion.

At the very least the Ministers owe Parliament an explanation. The UDM calls on the Ministers to appear before SCOPA again to clarify these matters, and to indicate how these state officials will be sanctioned.

Enquiries:
Bantu Holomisa, MP
UDM President

Cape Town
9 July 2001

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