On Thursday, July 17th the Right2Know Campaign will be picketing outside the Arms Procurement Commission where former president Thabo Mbeki will be appearing before Judge Willie Seriti.
The Arms Procurement Commission has been hearing evidence from senior politicians and Thabo Mbeki’s appearance will complete the first phase of the public hearings. The Right2Know Campaign believes that this presents an opportunity for former president, Thabo Mbeki to give full account of why the country committed to spend almost R70 billion on weapons in the late 1990’s under a shroud of secrecy. The decision by his cabinet to buy weapons that the country could not afford, did not need and cannot use has made European Arms companies, implicated in paying bribes in the arms deal, wealthy at the expense of the poor.
The arms deal corrupted our politics, weakened state institutions and has contributed to infighting amongst state security agencies. This in turn fuelled the appetite by the State to control access to information and block the free flow of information on corruption in the arms deal through the proposed Secrecy Bill and other means. We call on Thabo Mbeki to help free the arms deal secrets!
The Right2Know Campaign will meet outside the Council chamber, Sammy Marks Conference centre, in Pretoria from 10:30AM till at 12PM and are inviting the public to join them.
Judge Seriti is respectfully reminded that while his commission reports to the President – it is accountable to the people who funded its work and have paid for the arms deal through job losses and a lack of public services.
We call on the Judge Seriti, the Arms Procurement Commission and the witnesses called to give evidence to set the arms deal secrets free!
For further comment contact:
R2K Gauteng provincial organiser: Bongani Xezwi (Cell: 073 904 1626)
R2K Gauteng spokesperson: Jayshree Pather (Cell: 082 413 5621)