President Jacob Zuma has now received the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of Fraud, Corruption, Impropriety or Irregularity in the Strategic Defence Procurement Package (“Arms Procurement Commission”).
The Arms Procurement Commission, which was formally established on 04 November 2011, has taken more than four years to complete its work, and has cost an absolute fortune: more than R100 million.
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 Arms Procurement Commission’s terms of reference do not compel the president to make the final report public. However, we believe that it is in the public interest that the final report, together with the interim reports, produced at six-month intervals, be made public as soon as possible.