MP calls for SDP witnesses

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Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Eddie Trent has this week sent out written appeals to key individuals who he says have substantive knowledge of the 1999 Strategic Defence Package (SDP).
He is asking them to make written submissions on any evidence they may have of possible wrongdoing associated with the R47 billion programme that still attracts controversy.
President Kgalema Motlanthe last month mooted the possibility of appointing a judicial inquiry to establish for once and all the veracity of the many allegations that still swirl around the acquisition of 50 fighter aircraft, 30 helicopters, four frigates and three submarines.
He added that he would hold off on a decision to allow Parliament`s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) to reinvestigate the matter. SCOPA placed the programme back on its agenda in September.
Trent, who serves on SCOPA, says should he obtain new evidence or information on this matter, he will present it to the committee “with the recommendation that the committee honours its earlier undertaking to reopen the arms deal investigation.
“We have taken the lead in managing this process in light of the decision taken last month taken by the members of SCOPA to study submissions on the arms deal received from the public.
“In addition to the selected individuals whom we have already called upon to make submissions, we would like to cast the net wider and make a general appeal to the public to send in any information they may have on the Arms Deal, either directly to the DA (to fax number 086 665 0978) or to SCOPA.
“The DA will ensure that all submissions received from the public are presented to SCOPA and read and discussed,” Trent says.
“We will do everything necessary to see that the question of alleged corruption surrounding the Arms Deal is finally put to rest, and in this regard we call upon all South Africans who are in possession of key information to come forward, so that this process can begin in earnest.”