Ramaphosa not opposing challenge to arms deal report
Publish date: 15 April 2019
Issue Number: 4679
Diary: Legalbrief Today
President Cyril Ramaphosa will not fight a major legal challenge to the R140m arms deal inquiry, which found there was no evidence of corruption in the multibillion-rand agreement. A Business Day report suggests Ramaphosa’s decision not to oppose the review application filed by Corruption Watch and Right2Know could have significant consequences for former President Jacob Zuma, who has used the report, compiled by Judge Willie Seriti, in his pending bid to permanently stay his prosecution for corruption. None of the government departments cited as respondents in the case, nor Seriti, is fighting the application for the inquiry’s findings of 2016 to be set aside. Zuma has argued that the findings of Seriti’s four-year investigation had confirmed that there was no corruption in the arms deal. The former President has used those findings to raise questions about the validity of the arms deal corruption charges he now faces. Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, confirmed the Presidency had filed ‘a notice to abide by the decision of the court’ in response to the review application. ‘We believe that the issues being raised are primarily procedural in nature, and therefore the commission would be best placed to answer to those issues. We will file an explanatory affidavit to assist the court in coming to a decision.’ The report adds Seriti declined to comment and Diko would not be drawn on why the retired judge had not opposed the application.