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Court judgment on Arms Deal report expected on Wednesday

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The High Court in Pretoria is expected to deliver judgment on an application to review and set aside the findings of the Seriti Commission of inquiry into the controversial Arms Deal on Wednesday morning.

The application was brought by civil society organisations Corruption Watch and Right2Know Campaign.

In April, the Presidency said it would not oppose the application and would be willing to make submissions in court.

The commission was established in 2011 by then Justice Minister, Jeff Radebe. It investigated allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package.

In its report released in 2016, it found that there was no proof of fraud and bribery in the multi-billion rand arms deal. But the findings were heavily criticised.

First to approach the courts to have the findings set aside was long time anti-arms deal activist, Terry Crawford-Browne. His application was dismissed.

Corruption Watch and Right2Know Campaign brought their application in June this year.

The two organisations argued that the Seriti commission failed to comply with its mandate.

They said the commission misled the public, ignored evidence of corruption, failed to access information from abroad, did not investigate serious allegations of corruption and failed to investigate new information that was put before it.

Corruption Watch and Right2Know Campaign also argued that the commission failed to investigate allegations that politicians and cabinet members during the tenure of former president Thabo Mbeki received discounted vehicles for their alleged role in the facilitation of the arms deal.

This is more than three years after Judge Willie Seriti exonerated politicians of any acts of wrongdoing. The organisations said the cost of the commission amounted to more than R 137 million.

(Source: SABC News)

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