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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Andrew Feinstein, Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren Express Concerns About the Seriti Commission of Inquiry

Andrew Feinstein, Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren have released a statement via Lawyers for Human Rights expressing their concerns about the way in which the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the arms deal has been operating. This is not the first time that they have called on the Commission to get its act together.

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The authors describe their two main concerns: firstly the “ongoing obstacles to full participation in the inquiry that the Seriti Commission is creating through its failure to give adequate notice to the public of witness lists and testimony of government officials” and secondly “the failure of the Commission to make documents at its disposal available to us”.

The Arms Deal is the most significant scandal – both politically and economically – of the post-apartheid era. Not only has it dominated news cycles and formed the subject of numerous books, it has been directly responsible for the emasculation of Parliament, the inappropriate politicisation of the prosecuting authority and the outright destruction of the Directorate of Special Operations (the ‘Scorpions’).

Despite considerable evidence of wrongdoing being published over the previous decade, all investigations into the Arms Deal to date have been undermined by a lack of political will and documented interference by powerful individuals within and close to government. This has made a mockery of notions of accountability on which any functional democracy rests.

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