NIA to be asked to find out how Maynier got hold of classified arms sales doc­u­ments

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - CAIPHUS KGOSANA

THE Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Agency (NIA) will be asked to probe how DA MP David Maynier ac­quired doc­u­ments con­tain­ing arms sales trans­ac­tions en­tered into by the South African gov­ern­ment.

Maynier caused a stir two weeks ago when he dis­closed ev­i­dence to jour­nal­ists that in­di­cated South Africa had al­legedly sold weapons to coun­tries with du­bi­ous hu­man rights track records such as Libya, Iran, North Korea and Zim­babwe. He also al­leged the deals had been ap­proved without a proper quo­rum in the Na­tional Con­ven­tional Arms Con­trol Com­mit­tee (NCACC) – the body charged with en­sur­ing such deals are above board.

This elicited an an­gry re­ac­tion from Jus­tice Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe, chair­man of the NCACC, while the ANC in Par­lia­ment ac­cused Maynier of hav­ing ac­quired the in­for­ma­tion il­le­gally and called for him to be cen­sured.

He was hauled be­fore the de­fence and mil­i­tary vet­er­ans port­fo­lio com­mit­tee, of which he is a mem­ber, and asked to dis­close the source of his in­for­ma­tion. But Maynier re­fused, prompt­ing one ANC MP to call for his im­me­di­ate sack­ing from the com­mit­tee.

Com­mit­tee chair­man Mnyamezeli Booi said be­cause Maynier had re­fused to dis­close his sources, there was no choice but to call in the spooks.

“(The) NIA is com­ing in. We have to find out where the in­for­ma­tion is com­ing from and the com­mit­tee does not have the ca­pac­ity to do that,” Booi said.

Maynier has dared Par­lia­ment to “bring it on”. He in­sists that he acted in the pub­lic in­ter­est and that his al­le­ga­tions have not been re­futed.

NIA spokesper­son Lorna Daniels said the in­tel­li­gence agency would not com­ment on op­er­a­tional mat­ters.

Booi said le­gal ad­vice ob­tained by the com­mit­tee in­di­cated that Maynier, by dis­clos­ing the con­tents of classified doc­u­ments, had con­tra­vened the Na­tional Con­ven­tional Arms Con­trol Act. He said it would be up to the NCACC to pur­sue any charges against him.

The act states that the dis­clo­sure of classified doc­u­ments re­lat­ing to the busi­ness of the NCACC, un­less prop­erly au­tho­rised, is an of­fence that car­ries a fine, a jail sen­tence of up to 20 years or both.

Booi said be­cause there was no prece­dent, they would seek coun­sel from the Speaker on whether Maynier had be­haved in a man­ner be­fit­ting an MP.

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