24 July 2014

South Africa: Arms Deal Cases 'Disappeared' - De Lille

Photo: BAE Systems
A Hawk in flight. One of the jets purchased by South Africa in the arms deal (file photo).

Pretoria — Charges laid against some individuals by Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille were never followed up and disappeared, she told the Seriti Commission of Inquiry on Thursday.

"Cases were never investigated and documents disappeared," she told the commission sitting in Pretoria.

"Cases I laid against McCarthy and Ngcuka had disappeared from police records at the Caledon Square police station."

De Lille said she laid charges against former national director of public prosecutions, Bulelani Ngcuka, and former head of the now disbanded Scorpions unit, Leonard McCarthy, on April 7, 2007.

The charges related to their undue influence on the prosecution of President Jacob Zuma on corruption charges, which led to the decision by then National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Mokotedi Mpshe to withdraw charges against Zuma.

Schabir Shaik, Zuma's former financial adviser, was convicted in 2005 of soliciting a bribe on Zuma's behalf from a French arms company.

De Lille said she travelled to Johannesburg in 2009 when the NPA held a press briefing on criminal charges against Zuma. She said she was not allowed to attend the press conference.

"I looked at the media statement issued and it was indicated that there was interference in the charges against Zuma by the two gentlemen. I then proceeded to lay charges later with the police."

De Lille was the initial whistleblower in Parliament regarding the arms deal, and in 1999 called for an investigation.

The commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, was appointed by Zuma three years ago to investigate alleged corruption in the country's multi-billion-rand arms procurement deal in 1999.

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