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Have your say in arms saga

By unknown | Mar 26, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ido Lekota

Ido Lekota

Recent media reports have suggested that there is a move within the ANC to reach a political solution to the arms deal saga.

The move arises after revelations that the corruption charges- they are related to the arms deal - against ANC president Jacob Zuma are just a tip of the iceberg.

Zuma is accused, among others, for allegedly taking a R500000 yearly bribe from French arms manufacturer Thales. The French company was subcontracted by the German Frigate Consortium (GFC), which won the tender to build four warships - called Corvettes. GFC won the tender against a Spanish-led consortium, the most cost effective bidder.

The latest allegations of corruption in the arms deal are that the primary German and British arms manufacturers paid notorious agents who bribed government officials and ANC politicians.

The companies are said to have paid an estimated R1,4billion in commissions - with some of the money flowing to charities, government officials and politicians.

Suggestions have been made that President Thabo Mbeki - who then chaired the Cabinet sub-committee dealing with the arms deal - has personally benefitted from the disbursements or ensured that his party benefitted.

Why a general amnesty?

The argument by those in favour of a general amnesty is that the enormity of these allegations will negatively impact on the country's political and economic profile.

In view of that, they suggest a political rather than a juristic solution.

Such a solution, it is suggested, could involve a TRC-type of a process whereby people would confess to having received bribes and also offer to repay the money they had received.

In addition, there could also be a condition that they are barred from holding public office.

In return, they would receive amnesty from prosecution.

It is suggested that to make it credible, the process should be more inclusive, involving representative of various sectors of society

The question for our readers is: Do you think that individuals/ organisations should get amnesty for their involvement in the saga?

SMS Yes / No to 32647. Readers who have access to the internet can respond on the Sowetan website

The poll closes on Sunday (March 30). Results will be published on Wednesday (April 2).


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