Seriti 'designed a process' to give Zuma what he wanted - De Lille
The DA's federal executive chairperson, James Selfe, says South Africans have once again paid the price for the ANC's corruption, and the public has been robbed of the truth by a commission of inquiry whose findings are now null and void.
This comes after the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday set aside the findings of the Seriti inquiry into SA's controversial multibillion-rand arms deal.
Our sister publication TimesLIVE reported that the arms deal commission was set up in 2011 by former president Jacob Zuma to investigate allegations of fraud and corruption in the military.
Supreme court of appeal judge Willie Seriti was appointed to head the four-year inquiry into allegations of corruption and fraud in the purchase of military equipment that cost billions of rands.
Selfe welcomed the judgment, calling Seriti's report “whitewash”.
“The Seriti commission was a gross miscarriage of justice, which cost the people of SA more than R137m,” he said.
“It is quite clear that the tainted Seriti commission was never set up to investigate the truth and to unearth corruption regarding the arms deal — it was only instituted to clear the names of individuals such as [Jacob] Zuma, [Shabir] Shaik and their corrupt cabal.”
According to Selfe, the DA has always been of the view that the commission’s findings were illegitimate and inconsistent, as it seemingly let off the hook all those implicated in the deal.
Patricia de Lille weighs in
Good party leader Patricia de Lille, a long-time critic of the commission and whistle-blower on the arms deal, weighed in on the matter, agreeing with Selfe's that the report was “a whitewash”, adding that it aimed to please Zuma.
Taking to social media, she said she had been “vindicated” by the ruling.
I have been vindicated. In April 2016, I said that the #Seriti Commission’s #ArmsDeal “findings” was no surprise and an utter waste of taxpayers’ money.— Patricia de Lille (@PatriciaDeLille) August 21, 2019
The Seriti Commission was a whitewash and the outcome was decided long before the Commission started. https://t.co/Za3B1oQG12
De Lille said that the inquiry's objective did not uncover any corruption surrounding the deal, but instead gave Zuma “what he wanted”.
“Judge Seriti only had to design a process to get a predetermined outcome — to give former president Jacob Zuma what he wanted,” she said.
In a statement, she said: "Among our biggest mistakes has been our failure to bring crooks in the state system to book.
“It begun with the arms deal. Had we drawn a legal line in the sand and slammed the door on corruption 20 years ago we would have prevented much of the looting of the state that followed.”
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