MPs agreed that it would be in the best interests of the country and all involved if the matter was laid to rest as speedily as possible, the paper reports in its morning edition today.
African People’s Convention MP and SCOPA chairman Themba Godi says various individuals have said in media reports that they have new information regarding irregularities. He says they should come forward and present their evidence to the committee.
Smith said it was important for Parliament to test the validity of any information before it could be accepted as sufficient evidence.
The Cape Times says Smith was supported by IFP MP Hennie Bekker, who agreed that Parliament should not rely on newspaper articles and “rumour-mongering”, but rather hard evidence.
“If there is any substantial information this matter must be pursued – we must cut through to the bone,” Bekker said.
Godi told the paper he would be writing to various departments seeking information on progress of their own investigations.
The committee mandated Godi to write to the National Prosecuting Authority, the departments of defence, public service and administration, trade and industry as well as the National Treasury and state arms company, Armscor.
“We are asking for information they supposedly have. It should not drag on,” Godi said.
President Kgalema Motlanthe earlier this month told Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille he might appoint a judicial inquiry into the SDP. The decision would in part be informed by the outcome of the SCOPA process. Motlanthe said at the time that there was no point in duplicating processes.