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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Andrew Feinstein and Paul Holden Call on the Arms Deal Commission to Act on Their Evidence

Andrew Feinstein and Paul Holden have written about the progress, or lack thereof, of the Arms Deal Commission since its inception. They discuss the importance of the commission, saying that it “could play a pivotal role in the development of our country’s young democracy”, but point out the missteps it has taken so far, including Judge Willie Seriti’s claim that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by the ANC.

The Shadow WorldThe Devil in the DetailWho Rules South Africa?The Arms Deal in Your Pocket

Feinstein and Holden then list some of the incriminating points of evidence that they have submitted to the commission. Prior to Seriti’s statement, which he made in a letter written to Terry Crawford-Browne, the two of them were contacted by the commission and told that the public hearings have been postponed due to the amount of evidence they submitted. Included in this was Feinstein’s book, The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, and Holden’s The Devil in the Detail: How the Arms Deal Changed Everything and The Arms Deal in Your Pocket.

The authors conclude by saying that, “All we ask is that our information, compiled over years of investigation and research, be heard fairly and impartially by the commission”.

When President Jacob Zuma was reluctantly forced by legal action to appoint the commission of inquiry into South Africa’s notorious arms deal, it was one of those moments that politicians believe they can control, but which often develop a life of their own beyond the machinations of the powerful.

Despite its difficult birth, the commission could play a pivotal role in the development of our country’s young democracy if it lays bare the gargantuan amount of evidence about the deal and recommends appropriate legal action against those who are shown to have behaved inappropriately.

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