Thu Oct 27 12:53:54 CAT 2016

Pahad covered up arms deal corruption - opposition

By unknown | Nov 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Minister Essop Pahad has lied too much to parliament and must go.

Opposition MPs were united yesterday in slamming Pahad, the Minister in the Office of the Presidency, for allegedly covering up arms deal corruption.

The "fire him" call comes in the wake of claims by former ANC MP Andrew Feinstein that Pahad was directly involved in having the ANC drop its full-scale probe into arms deal corruption in 1999.

Feinstein makes the allegations in his book After the Party which has just been launched in South Africa.

The Sunday Times had in 2000 claimed Pahad was directly involved in having the probe quashed, but the minister rejected the claims.

Pahad eventually had the Sunday Times retract its story and offer an apology.

"He should resign. He is the one who should be setting an example as a top leader, but is getting away with lies.

"What does this tell the people of this country and also the criminals out there, who now think they can get away with their crimes," DA defence spokesman Eddie Trent told Sowetan yesterday.

He stated this was not the first time Pahad had been caught out for lying.

Trent said a year ago Pahad had said he could not remember meeting with officials from arms deal company Thomson CSF.

But later Pahad added that his office had reminded him that he did have a meeting with one of its officials, Alain Thetard, but did not explain what took place at the meeting.

The company won a slice of the arms deal, while Thetard is implicated in organising a bribe for Jacob Zuma.

African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe said "if Pahad is a man of integrity, he should step down from his position".

Meshoe said government should reopen the arms deal investigation to prevent further revelations that will harm the presidency and the country.

He added that the arms deal had the potential to detract from the "good work" done by the government and President Thabo Mbeki.


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