Statement issued by UDM President Bantu Holomisa

The long awaited report on the allegations of mass corruption in the 1999 arms deal has not surprised anyone. It only adds to the shelves of South Africa, another white-washed report whose objective is nothing less than clearing comrades from Luthuli House.

Our memories are still fresh from the damning findings of the Durban High Court, in which evidence carried in the notorious encrypted fax, recording an alleged arms deal bribe to the then Deputy President of the country from the French arms giant, Thales.

This piece of evidence was successfully admitted, used in court and led to the conviction of Mr. Schabir Shaik. In the judgment that followed, Mr. Zuma was implicated. It is very disturbing that the report is conspicuously quiet on this.

In fact, it is also mysterious that Mr. Zuma did not testify in the commission even though he allegedly accepted a bribe from Thales.

We are also not told about the luxurious vehicles that were bought for various Luthuli House comrades who were connected to the arms deal procurement processes.

In fact, we are not told whether the commission, during its independent investigation, did take advantage of various investigations and findings conducted by other countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and France.

We remember that the German detectives said they found a copy of the agreement when they raided ThyssenKrupp, the German engineering conglomerate which led the consortium that sold four patrol corvettes to South Africa for R6.9 billion. The bribe agreement was reported to be R6 million.

It begs to wonder the seriousness of the commission, its work and product.

We also remember that the commission was marred with resignations including the one of the evidence leader who challenged the credibility of the inquiry.

We note the timing of the release of the report, which is on the eve of highly contested Local Government Elections. The ruling party is in dire need of a relief for it to be taken serious by the electorate. It enters this campaign on the back foot due to its corrupt activities including the flouting of the Constitution.

This report comes as a tool to strengthen their compromised campaign.