Fresh calls for arms deal probe

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Fresh calls for President Thabo Mbeki to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the multi-billion rand arms deal have been sounded.

The Democratic Alliance said yesterday the ANC's ad hoc committee appointed to probe the arms deal was not the right vehicle.

"President Thabo Mbeki therefore needs to address this situation by appointing a judicial commission of inquiry with full powers to investigate what corruption occurred in the conclusion of the arms deal and who are the guilty parties.

"If the President fails to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry, it might not only leave the truth uncovered, but also ensure an unopposed opportunity for the majority party to use its ad hoc committee as it sees fit rather than in the interests of ordinary South Africans," said Eddie Trent, the DA's arms deal spokesman, yesterday.

Trent said Mbeki's failure to appoint the commission would result in the ANC using information obtained by its committee to exert political vengeance on those who did not support the party's newly-elected leadership.

This would also result in the ANC manipulating the Jacob Zuma trial in a manner that suits the new leadership.

The ANC said the committee would look at the practical form the support for Zuma would take and consider the broader context within which the case against him was taking place.