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Andrew Feinstein

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Arms Deal Q&A

News24.com published an interview with me yesterday about the current arms deal investigations, the state of the ANC, and aspects of my life. Here’s the link for those who might find it interesting:

Do you think the arms-deal report by the African National Congress national executive committee (NEC) will get to the bottom of the matter?

No, I think that enquiry is purely for internal political purposes in relation to Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki. But at least it is an acknowledgement by the new ANC leadership that the full story on the arms deal hasn’t yet been told, despite the President’s protestations to the contrary.

In your book you ask for a new independent inquiry into the arms deal. Government and President Mbeki will respond that two inquiries have found no corruption in the primary arms deal. Why have another inquiry?

There has only been one inquiry, which was severely compromised. As I argue in the book the investigation was neutered by ensuring the ANC in Parliament limited the scope of it as far as possible, and didn’t question the superficial nature of it when it was concluded; the one truly independent investigator (Judge Heath) was excluded from the inquiry; the remaining investigators were instructed as to what and whom they could and could not investigate; and their final report was significantly edited on instruction from the Executive to remove even mild criticism of the cabinet. In addition, they failed to investigate the main corruption allegations which had been outlined by the Public Accounts Committee. So the need for a full, unfettered inquiry is extremely important.

 

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