The Presidency has described the criticism by the DA of the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package as “unwarranted” and “irresponsible”.
The Arms Procurement Commission report compiled by the chairperson Judge Willie Seriti and commissioner Judge Thekiso Musi was submitted to President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday, 30 December 2015.
The following day DA shadow finance minister, David Maynier, said the Arms Procurement Commission, which was established on 4 November 2011, “has taken more than four years to complete its work, and has cost an absolute fortune … more than R100 million”.
Mayneier added: “The Arms Procurement Commission has been embroiled in controversy from the start and expectations are that, at least when it comes to the crucial question of whether the arms deal was tainted by fraud and corruption, the final report will be a whitewash and that those who were alleged to have been involved in arms deal corruption, including President Jacob Zuma himself, have nothing to fear”.
The comments have riled the Presidency, which said the Mayneier’s sentiments were “unwarranted, shocking, irresponsible and totally unacceptable”.
“The party (DA) has cast aspersions on the integrity of two senior judges who have worked meticulously for four years to uncover what exactly happened around the arms procurement process,” said the Presidency in a statement issued on Monday by Bongani Majola, the director of media liaison.
“The report has also not been released to the public yet. The DA is thus attacking a report they have not even seen”.
The Presidency said parties represented in parliament should play their part in promoting support and respect for the judiciary and all institutions of “our constitutional democracy at all times”.
“The President once again thanks Judge Seriti and the Commission for the work done to assist the country find out what transpired during this process”.
The Presidency said Zuma will release the report to the public as soon as he has concluded the “necessary processing thereof”.