Arms deal review: 'Crucial evidence ignored, witnesses not allowed to testify'

Activist Terry Crawford-Brown has been trying to bring to light alleged corruption in the multi-billion rand arms deal for the best part of 20 years.

Joanne Joseph gets his response as two civil society organisations argue their case in the North Gauteng High Court to have the findings of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry set aside.

Read: 'Application to set Seriti Commission findings aside important for rule of law'

Advocate Geoff Budlender is representing Right-toKnow (R2K) and Corruption Watch.

EWN's Clement Manyathela says Budlender argued that the proper procedures were not followed, there was no attempt to gather essential material and that witnesses were either not called or not allowed to testify.

Those are some of the arguments that form the basis that the findings of this enquiry must be set aside.

Clement Manyathela, Reporter - EWN

Manyathela points out that the findings of the commission are being used by people exonerated by it, like former president Jacob Zuma, to proclaim their innocence in related matters.

We know that Zuma has already used the findings of this arms deal commission to say - especially in that application for that stay of prosecution in his corruption case in the Pietermaritzburg High Court - to say, 'why am I being pursued, because the arms deal commission has already exonerated me?'

Clement Manyathela, Reporter - EWN

They (Corruption Watch) want the public to know that no-one must place reliance on the findings of that commission.

Clement Manyathela, Reporter - EWN

Corruption Watch is essentially saying that those findings didn't exonerate anyone.

Clement Manyathela, Reporter - EWN

Arms deal activist Terry Crawford-Brown says he's 'thrilled' because the case will re-open allegations about the arms deal.

He believes that this time around a bid to set aside the Seriti findings could succeed, because there is finally a realisation that corruption is unacceptable in our constitutional democracy.

There's also an understanding of the economic consequences, he says.

We're hopeful that under President Ramaphosa we have a new climate that's going to take these things seriously.

Terry Crawford-Browne, Arms deal activist

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