Two more Seriti Commission staff members resign


Judge Willie Seriti’s Arms Procurement Commission will head into the final stages of it public hearings without two evidence leaders, leaving seven out of the original ten.

Commission spokesman William Baloyi said the resignations of advocate Barry Skinner, SC, and Carol Sibaya had been received and “accepted in principle”.

He did not give any reasons for the resignations saying they were “the subject of ongoing engagement” in the Commission.

Asked whether the departure of Skinner and Sibaya would have any effect on the work of the Commission, Baloyi said “operations will not be interrupted as they were working within a team that is fully informed and will proceed with the responsibilities”.

The second phase of public hearings is currently in recess with only Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille, having spent a day in the witness stand. Richard Young was scheduled to be the first of the so-called whistle-blowers to appear in phase two. He quoted medical and other reasons for not appearing and indicated he would want at least two weeks on the witness stand.

Next witness is Democratic Alliance shadow defence and military veterans minister, David Maynier, who is scheduled to appear on Tuesday, August 5.

The latest resignations mean the commission has lost a co-chair (Judge Francis Legodi), attorney Norman Moabi, who alleged there was a second, secret agenda at the Commission, and a legal researcher among others. Moabi’s allegations were vigorously denied by Seriti.

Speaking to Eyewitness News after appearing before the Commission, de Lille said she had no reservations about being the original whistle-blower on the 1998 arms deal that saw new frontline equipment acquired for the SA Air Force and SA Navy.

She brought allegations of bribery and corruption to Parliament in what has become known as the De Lille Dossier. She has never revealed who supplied the information in her dossier but still believes she was right to make the information public knowledge.
“Two of the allegations in the dossier led to successful prosecutions,” she said after her time on the Seriti witness stand.

Other witnesses still to present evidence in phase two include Gavin Woods, Raenette Taljaard, Andrew Feinstein, Paul Holden, Hennie van Vuuren, Terry Crawford-Browne, Shamin “Chippy” Shaik and Fana Hlongwane.