30 civil society organisations call for an end to Seriti Commission

More than 30 local social justice organisations have issued a joint call for real arms deal accountability. Read our statement below:

The 1999 arms deal represents up to R70-billion that should have been spent on housing, education, health and South Africa’s other pressing social needs.

The arms deal corrupted our politics, weakened state institutions, and undermined our democracy. And despite mounting evidence of corruption, there has never been a full and transparent investigation. The politicians, public servants, middlemen, and large multinational arms companies involved have never been made to explain themselves to the South African people.

The Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal represented a crucial opportunity to uncover the truth, but it has become highly unlikely that the commission will fulfil its mandate.

We, the undersigned organisations, join the call for the commission to be dissolved. Continue reading

R2K launches information portal on the Arms Deal – supports whistleblowers’ withdrawal

The Right2Know Campaign supports the decision by three whistleblowers to withdraw from the Seriti Commission of Inquiry on the Arms Deal.

R2K is deeply disturbed by the Seriti Commission’s failure to act in a fair and consistent way. We have seen huge amounts of evidence being kept away from the public, and hostility towards whistleblowers and critics of the Deal.

This month, two more evidence leaders resigned from the Commission; in their letter of resignation, they stated that Judge Seriti had obstructed their work and undermined their independence. By now at least six senior staff members have resigned from the Commission, and four have publicly questioned the Commission’s integrity.

We have also seen the Commission refuse to release huge amounts of important evidence. The Commission does not even appear to be consulting or using this evidence itself. It includes over 4 million pages of documents detailing arms deal secrets that were collected by the Scorpions. The Commission promised to do so after the existence of the containers of documents was exposed by the City Press in August 2013.

Launch of information portal – ArmsDealFacts.com

R2K has taken steps to put up the key evidence on www.ArmsDealFacts.com so that the public can decide for themselves. The information on the website shows that there are not “only allegations” about the Arms Deal, but a lot of evidence. This evidence requires serious investigation by the Commission. This is not happening.

People of South Africa have the right to know why the government spent R70-billion to profit foreign arms corporations at the expense of the poor.

Judge Seriti is respectfully reminded that while his commission reports to the President, it is accountable to the people who funded its work and have paid for the arms deal through job losses and a lack of public services.

Vukani! No more Arms Deal secrets!

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For more information visit www.r2k.org.za

What is this site?

This is a mini information portal on the Arms Deal and Seriti Commission. It was set up by the Right2Know Campaign in collaboration with Corruption Watch.

In October 2016, Corruption Watch and Right2Know launched a court challenge to the Seriti Commission’s findings, to ensure that the Arms Deal is not whitewashed. (Court papers below.)

Using the navigation menu above, you can download key evidence submitted to the Commission by key Arms Deal whistleblowers.

  • Was there corruption in the Deal? Here is key evidence.
  • Did the Deal violate procurement process? Here is key evidence.
  • Did the Deal make economic sense? Here is a declassified government report suggesting that government knew that the Deal would cost jobs and hurt the economy.

This evidence required serious investigation by the Commission, which failed to do so. It was up to the Commission, not the public, to test this evidence. The evidence on this site is already in the public domain, representing only a fraction of the documents that have been produced by investigations by agencies like the Scorpions, and several overseas investigations. But the Seriti Commission refused to make most of it public, or to cross-examine witnesses who defend the Deal.

To learn more about the history of the Arms Deal, visit Corruption Watch. To see why Corruption Watch and R2K are challenging the findings of the Commission, see here.

The public has a right to know – set the Arms Deal secrets free!