ANC committee to look at Arms Deal - media statement by the UDM President (9 January 2008)

The United Democratic Movement’s (UDM) difficulty on the call by the African National Congress (ANC) to form a committee that will advise them on the Arms Deal Saga is that the information they require may force them to seek such from state institutions which among others are charged with the duty of investigating crime and corruption in this country. Some, if not all of these institutions, had already submitted their findings and recommendations which included the suggestion to prosecute the culprits. This process, as everybody knows, was endorsed by the ANC’s cabinet and their two-thirds majority in Parliament.

The President of the ANC, Mr Jacob Zuma, and some of his colleagues in the new ANC;NEC and the NWC, were part of this decision. He, himself, wrote a letter to Scopa, questioning the sobriety of Scopa members in wanting to question the procurement process of the Arms Deal.

Notwithstanding his endorsement of the four state agencies’ findings and recommendations regarding the Arms Deal, he has however, on many occasions tried, in vain thus far, to thwart the agencies’ investigation by challenging them in court.

One of the reasons the UDM is calling for Mr Zuma to suspend himself, is to avoid a situation whereby he will attempt to use his office to influence and interfere with whatever investigations are in progress. Imagine seeing him in the Lekgotla meeting with the government, in two weeks’ time, presenting the Polokwane resolutions which include the future of the Scorpions which have recently served him with indictments; what a contradiction!

South Africans have given mandate to the ANC to run the administration of this country until 2009. Therefore the envisaged request from an ANC faction, should not be entertained by the government as this will no doubt interfere with the current investigations on the Arms Deal. Indeed South Africans are aware that there might be some of the current ANC NEC members who were recipients of the Arms Deal kickbacks.

The advice I can give to this new ANC NEC is that they should instead request the government to conduct a Preliminary Investigation headed by a judge on the need to establish a judicial commission of inquiry. I suggest that the proposed Preliminary Investigation should also include, as terms of reference, the so-called political conspiracy against Mr Zuma so that the matter is laid to rest once and for all.

What comes out very clearly is that the exercise the committee intends doing is to protect the ANC President and others who are subjects of investigation, a situation which the UDM can never support.