Pretoria – Cabinet says the release of the findings of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package will bring closure to the matter.
President Jacob Zuma released the report earlier today. The report found no evidence of wrongdoing, bribery, fraud or corruption in the arms procurement process.
The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was established by President Zuma in September 2011, to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the arms procurement process.
The 1999 purchases included Gripen fighter aircraft and Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the air force, as well as frigates and submarines for the navy.
The allegations of mass corruption had sparked investigations in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and France.
The commission concluded its inquiry after four years – exceeding two years it had been given.
“The Cabinet was briefed about the report … which was released by the President this morning. As government we welcome the findings of the commission. We have been vindicated as we have stated over many years that there was no wrongdoing and that the procurement had been above board,” said Minister in the Presidency: Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on Thursday.
He was briefing media on last week’s Cabinet meeting.
“We trust that the findings will bring closure to this long drawn out matter,” the Minister said.
He said Cabinet joined President Zuma in thanking Justice Willie Seriti and Judge Thekiso Musi, all the witnesses, including former President Thabo Mbeki, evidence leaders, legal teams, staff and those who contributed to making the work of the commission a success.