Elu­sive arms man to give ev­i­dence

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

THE com­mis­sion of in­quiry into al­le­ga­tions of fraud and cor­rup­tion in the arms deal has re­vealed it has been in con­tact with elu­sive arms con­sul­tant Fana Hlong­wane and that he is on the com­mis­sion’s list of wit­nesses for the sec­ond phase of hear­ings.

“We have no­ticed there is a per­cep­tion that the com­mis­sion can­not find … one of the peo­ple against whom al­le­ga­tions of wrong­do­ing in the arms ac­qui­si­tion process have been lev­elled,” spokesman Wil­liam Baloyi said.

“…the com­mis­sion has been in con­tact with him through his at­tor­neys, and it is not true that he can­not be traced.”

He said Hlong­wane was part of the list of wit­nesses.

The Mail & Guardian re­ported yes­ter­day that Hlong­wane, who was al­legedly paid R65 mil­lion in arms deal bribes, ap­par­ently could not be found, and had been re­moved from the list of wit­nesses.

It re­ported that Hlong­wane was ev­i­dently tipped off that his of­fice and home would be raided by the Scor­pi­ons in 2008.

Be­cause of the tip-off, four boxes of ev­i­dence were al­legedly re­moved from his of­fice just be­fore the raid.

The com­mis­sion’s pub­lic hear­ings are sched­uled to start on Au­gust 5.

On Mon­day Baloyi an­nounced that for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki and Min­is­ter in the Pres­i­dency Trevor Manuel were set to tes­tify in the sec­ond half of Jan­uary.

Baloyi said the first phase of the com­mis­sion would “deal with the ra­tio­nale for the strate­gic de­fence pro­cure­ment pack­age”, and whether the arms and equip­ment ac­quired were un­der- utilised or not utilised at all. – Sapa

PIC­TURES: CANDICE CHAP­LIN

‘WON’T GO’: Khoi herbal­ist and Dal­las res­i­dent Xoma Aobi with his horses Moon­light and Prince which are kept at his Kindy Farm where he also grows his herbs.

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