SACP changes tune on arms deal investigation

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Now that they have succeeded in toppling President Thabo Mbeki, ANC alliance partners seem to be backing down from their demand that a judicial inquiry be appointed to investigate the arms deal.

Last week Pietermaritzburg high court Judge Chris Nicholson said a judicial commission of inquiry was the most effective way of dealing with the controversy around the government's multibillion-rand arms deal.

Both Mbeki and the ANC have never been keen on the establishment of such an inquiry. Cosatu and the SACP have previously been forthright about their call for the establishment of such an inquiry.

Their reasoning was that ANC president Jacob Zuma was being made the fall guy while other ANC leaders, including Mbeki, were also tainted by the controversial arms deal.

But yesterday the SACP hinted that the ANC might persuade them to drop their call for a commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

"If we engage them (ANC) on this, they might come around to our position, or we might come round to their position," said SACP spokesman Malesela Maleka.