Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

ANC president Jacob Zuma "should face a trial so that the truth about the arms deal can come out".

So said Treatment Action Campaign leader Zackie Achmat at a press conference of the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) in Cape Town yesterday.

Zuma is facing charges of corruption relating to the arms deal.

He has previously said that if he is prosecuted he would call former president Thabo Mbeki to testify - suggesting that Mbeki had information about the arms deal that he had not revealed.

Achmat, pictured, wants President Kgalema Motlanthe to establish an independent commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

"No more secrets" from the new ANC leadership, said Achmat. He said the SJC would "use the courts if necessary" to put pressure on the government to launch an inquiry.

Wanda Bici, Khayelitsha coordinator of the SJC, said: "We continue to spend billions on the corrupt arms deal that could be used to create safe communities through investment in community infrastructure."

Achmat said: "We are not flogging a dead horse.

"Mbeki lied to everyone about the need for the arms. The Finance Ministry found that South Africa should not enter into the arms deal because of the prohibitive costs but this was never made public."

The SJC will hold a rally at Cape Town's St George Cathedral tomorrow night to support its call for a commission of inquiry.