'Seriti Commission didn't conduct an inquiry, its findings can't be accepted'

Corruption Watch and the Right to Know Campaign have lodged a review application arguing that Judge Willie Seriti was incorrect in ruling that there was no wrongdoing in the arms deal.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he will not oppose this legal challenge to the Seriti Commission, the inquiry into the arms deal, which found no evidence of corruption in the multi-billion rand agreement.

Read: Zuma's permanent stay of prosecution bid puts NPA on trial, says Karyn Maughan

Ray White speaks to Corruption Watch's David Lewis on The Xolani Gwala Show about the application.

We believe that the process of the non-investigation that was followed in the arms commission gave rise to the findings that Seriti reached which we believe are not credible.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

Lewis says the Presidency explained its decision not to oppose the application as being linked to the 'process' only.

In some sense, it is about the process, but it is about a process that didn't conduct a proper investigation. Therefore it could not have arrived at the conclusions that it did arrive at.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

He says the organisations are seeking to impune the way in which this inquiry was conducted.

It is no wonder that the decision arrived at is by all accounts implausible.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

I don't think that there is an arms deal concluded anywhere that has not had any elements of corruption

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

And this one was no different, he adds.

The Seriti Commission, in the evidence it took, did not treat witnesses fairly and did not treat the evidence submitted to it dispassionately.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

He says the commission didn't conduct an investigation, but rather an adversarial type of trial.

The commission never followed up leads that submitted to it, he adds.

We hope that the court's reasoning in hopefully supporting our application will tell future chairs of commissions of inquiries on how to go about conducting its business.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

The Seriti Commission didn't conduct an inquiry and that means that their findings cannot be accepted.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

The fact that the Presidency is not opposing their legal challenge removes the basis for any of those implicated to claim they should be exonerated.

Which is a claim that has been made on behalf of some of them, not least former president Jacob Zuma. One of the grounds of which he is claiming that he should not be prosecuted is because the Seriti Commission found that there was no corruption in the arms deal.

David Lewis, Corruption Watch

Listen below to the full interview:


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