Defence Procurement Package Investigation: Preparation of a second Committee Report

Public Accounts (SCOPA)

28 February 2001
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

28 February 2001

Chairperson: Dr Gavin Chairperson Woods (IFP), Chair

Relevant Documents:
Fourteenth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts
- Letter to Dr Gavin Chairperson Woods, Chairperson of Standing Committee on Public Accounts, from Mr Jacob Zuma, Leader of Government Business, dated 19 January 2001 (See Appendix)

The Committee planned to prepare a second committee report on their investigation into the Defence Procurement Package. The DP members walked out of the meeting, objecting to what they called the non-adherence to rules, and the politicisation of SCOPA.

[Editor's Note: What follows is an edited first person account of the meeting]

Chairperson Woods (IFP): The purpose of the meeting is to move forward, toward a report to the National Assembly following the indirect issues that arose from the Fourteenth report. It is perhaps a mission impossible to put together a unanimous report. If we can overcome this major hurdle, it will enable us to get back to SCOPA's real work.
There are three issues:
1. The interpretation of the paragraph regarding the inclusion of the Heath Special Investigating Unit.
2. The Deputy President's letter. There is a sense that its tone was inappropriate, and one view is that we should avoid engaging with the specifics of the letter.
3. The meeting with the Ministers on Monday. I have asked for an opinion from Mr Haandieck (law advisor) regarding minority reports.

The Minister of Defence has sent copies his correspondence with the Auditor General, and the Minister of Finance has written regarding my interview with RW Johnson published by the Sunday Independent on February 11, 2001.

Mr Kannemeyer (ANC): Are we preparing a report on the side issues, or reporting back to the National Assembly on the Auditor General's report?

Chairperson Woods: Our Fourteenth Report refers to a second report this year. But these three issues cannot be ignored, especially since the Speaker has asked for a report-back.

General Holomisa (UDM): I thought that you could add that the investigating brief to the team is still outstanding. We must revisit the Fourteenth Report regarding the Heath Special Investigating Unit given the contestation by the Executive of its inclusion. Ministers have contested part of the Fourteenth Report, and the Speaker has raised the matter of sub-contracting.

Chairperson Woods: What do you mean regarding issuing a brief since SCOPA cannot instruct the agencies?

Ms Taljaard: Madam Speaker recognised serious constitutional implications to the Deputy President's letter. We would be reneging on our obligations not to give the three side issues our full attention.

Mr Smith: We need to resolve the interpretative differences, and formalise what those differences are. We agreed that the Deputy President's letter would essentially be dealt with in the meeting on Monday with the Ministers. If necessary, let's tell the House that we are divided. Let's take the flak if there is flak to be taken. The sooner we get the arms deal behind us without necessarily cutting corners, the better for SCOPA.

Mr Nair: The Deputy President and Ministers' interventions are not extraneous to the Fourteenth Report. Our comprehensive report should incorporate both the side issues and second report.

Chairperson Woods: The side issues don't take our work forward. To merge them into the second report would be messy.

Mr Gumede: I move the normal parliamentary procedure that the position of the majority is recorded. We have spent six weeks on matters of interpretation. The letter from the Deputy President requires an answer. I propose that we respond to him and that it is incorporated into the second report, as one report. I propose we vote, as is the normal procedure in the South African Parliament.

Chairperson Woods: There are two views coming from the ANC in contradiction of previous agreements.

Mr Smith: The ANC is not divided. The Deputy President's letter of 31 January refers to the second report of SCOPA, and that it will assist the National Assembly to incorporate everything that has occurred since recess until now. We must conclude the matter today, if necessary by vote, with one comprehensive report to Parliament.

Ms Taljaard: It is clear that SCOPA will take a vote today on a highly contentious issue, and that the ANC wants to get this behind them. The Speaker's intervention has revolved around those differing perspectives. We are building a fault line in SCOPA by avoiding resolution on the constitutional issues. There is a strong nexus between the Deputy President and the Ministers' meeting on Monday. They repeated the allegations on Monday that SCOPA did not do its work properly. The domino effect by the Speaker has inadvertently sanctioned a problematic relationship between Parliament and the Executive. In answering the Deputy President's letter in the second report, we are tacitly accepting the Executive's interference in Parliament.

Mr Smith: I want the Honourable Ms Taljaard to put an alternative proposal on the table.

Chairperson Woods: By considering the ANC view, we would not be able to consider the underlying issues.

Ms Taljaard: We have a duty to inform the public, and also to deal with the three side issues. The constitutional issues are what have consumed the time of this Committee. To wrap the reports into one will compound the fault line. A vote on the second report is inevitable. A progress report must be kept separate from the side issues.

Mr Beukman (DA): The Ministers came to us on Monday. The documents must be available to all Members before we issue a report, given the Executive's statement that they had documents which had to be considered by SCOPA.

Mr Kannemeyer: During the 7 February meeting we looked back at the 13 November meeting. How do we resolve the different views? Everyone here has an interest in defending their own views. When the process of persuasion fails, how do we resolve it? The ANC has agreed to disagree. It is incumbent on the DA to make its proposals.

Mr Nair: Advocate Meyer has given a legal opinion regarding Heath. The only reference in the Fourteenth report is that the Heath Special Investigating Unit and others may be incorporated, but there is no indication that the HSIU must be part of the investigation. It does not amount to a recommendation to the President to include Heath. The President has used his prerogative not to include Heath. The DA is pushing Heath, Heath and Heath. We are harping back on interpretative differences. We are wasting time. We have legal opinions that we are not bound to include Heath.

Mr Gumede : The DA paralyses SCOPA. The Fourteenth Report was adopted by the National Assembly. What are the DA's constitutional proposals and objections? Is the DA delegitimising Parliament?

General Holomisa: All parties stand by the Fourteenth Report. Regarding the four agencies named in the Fourteenth Report; they were recommended by SCOPA. No single body was singled out, but similarly none was named to be left out including the Heath Unit. SCOPA must take note of the Constitutional Court decision and respect that decision. SCOPA has recommended that the Unit be included. Judge Heath himself is history, but we wanted the skills of the Unit. We have to justify to Parliament that we are only using three units instead of four. We have to find a way to report to Parliament why the Heath Unit was not included.

Ms Taljaard: I note Mr Kannemeyer's statement that SCOPA has not taken a vote. The bases were loaded by the Speaker's intervention on 27 December. That is why the DA has added to the strength of its representation on SCOPA. If there is a vote, there will be no minority opinion. I propose that an interpretative vote will lead to a distinct issue because the National Assembly has adopted the Fourteenth Report. The Fourteenth Report can then be unwound by the second report, and the arms deal investigation itself will be unwound. The Executive's intervention kills the investigation. I propose that we finalise whether a minority opinion is permitted under Rule 137.

Chairperson Woods: I have now received Mr Handik's opinion that minority opinions may be included, but it must be clear that the majority view acknowledges the minority view.

Mr Kannemeyer: The Speaker has the written report of Parliament. This report says that it was a bit of shoddy work in pushing the Fourteenth Report through during the last day of the last session. What was the intention of Parliament? Did our report intend that the Heath Special Investigating Unit must be included? The answer is no, but the Special Investigating Unit is provided for by Act 74. If we agree to disagree, the Auditor General says he is confident that he can carry forward the investigation.

Chairperson Woods: The Law Advisor's opinion was that the Fourteenth Report did not instruct the President, but merely was SCOPA's intention to include the Heath Unit. We have established that the investigation is proceeding. We cannot instruct it to go one way or another. We do not have to be concerned about the investigation being blocked. If we take the ANC view, that places the President and the Speaker in a difficult position.

Mr Samson: Our duty is well-defined to examine the financial statements of organs of state coming from the Auditor General or other bodies. This Committee does not interpret the Constitution, or the position of the legal advisor. We look into the matter of value for money. Our report must cover the work we have done, including the Deputy Auditor General, the Speaker and the ministers' meeting, but not interpretative differences. Let us stick to that, and SCOPA's work won't be undone. I appeal, Chair, that you stop this matter of constitutional conflicts.

Mr Smith: I propose that all parties, including the IFP, put forward their views, and that the Chair expresses the view of the IFP before we break for tea.

Chairperson Woods: The IFP view is that I am not to be party to a witch-hunt, that there will be no cover-up on corruption, and that I am to be guided by matters of principle. Otherwise, I am given latitude by the IFP.

(The meeting then broke for tea. When it reconvened, the DA representative Ms Taljaard was not present, and the views of the parties were not enunciated)

Mr Smith: We want the vote to be recorded on the basis of the majority vote, and we reject the minority view.

Chairperson Woods: That is very clear that the Report does not say that any other views are referred to.

Mr Kannemeyer: Our resolution of 3 November in no way compels for definite inclusion of the four bodies, and we have consistently said that the 13 November meeting was an exploratory meeting to set up the brief, but that the briefing meeting itself never took place.

General Holomisa: Did SCOPA at any time identify that anybody should be left out of the investigation?

Chairperson Woods: The intention was to have all four.

Mr Gumede: Our understanding is that the 13 November meeting was to learn what skills were available and that a subsequent meeting was anticipated to make that decision, but that that subsequent meeting never took place.

Mr Smith: The intention was that the four agencies and any other relevant agencies should be invited so that the best skills could be invited and assembled. There was therefore no directive to the Executive.

Chairperson Woods: But what was the intent?

(Ms Taljaard returns to the meeting)

Ms Taljaard: Rule 137 provides that it is within its jurisdiction to record a minority view, and the substance of that view.

Mr Kannemeyer: The view of the ANC is that the interpretation and understanding of the SCOPA report adopted on 3 November does not provide for the definite inclusion of the Heath Special Investigating Unit, and that the meeting on 13 November was an exploratory meeting.

Ms Taljaard: The Democratic Alliance objects to the non-adherence to rules, and objects to the politicization of SCOPA. We will withdraw from the meeting.

Chairperson Woods: Are there any amendments to the ANC position?

Mr Kannemeyer: The ANC proposes:
1. That the interpretation and understanding of the Fourteenth Report of SCOPA as adopted by the National Assembly on 3 November 2000, nowhere provides for the definite inclusion of the Special Investigative Unit headed by Judge Heath.
2. In terms of paragraph 2, page 1059 of the ATC of 2 November 2000, it is clear that the meeting convened with the various agencies was an exploratory one with the intention of identifying the best combination of skills, legal mandates and resources.

The motion was adopted by nine ANC votes and abstentions from the IFP and UDM.

Chairperson Woods: We will deal with the Deputy President's letter and evidence at a later stage when we have transcripts of Monday's meeting.

General Holomisa: Please, Chair, speak on behalf of SCOPA to the DA. Are they withdrawing completely from SCOPA? This Committee is held in high esteem by the public. Why is the DA walking out?

The meeting was adjourned.

January 19, 2001

Dear Mr Woods,

l write to you about the issue of the defence acquisition, which, unfortunately and unnecessarily has become a matter of controversy.

In this regard, I thank you for your letter to the President dated 8 December, 2000, with whose authorisation I am sending this communication to you.

The Executive has no desire to fuel controversy. However, we are obliged to defend the integrity of government.

I enclose for your information two documents, these being:

1. The January l2, 2001 Government Statement of the Defence Acquisition; and
2. The January 15, 2001 letter to the President of the Minister of Justice on the issue of the "Heath Unit".

From these documents, you will see that the Government contests the conclusions arrived at by the Auditor General and SCOPA.

Furthermore, we are convinced that, in addition to the requirement for us to respect the decision of the Constitutional Court, there is no need for the "Heath Unit" to be involved in any "investigation" of the defence acquisition.

We do not understand why you, presumably on behalf of your parliamentary committee, suggest that we should ignore the decision of the Constitutional Court on the "Heath Unit".

The reasons for granting the Executive and the Legislature a period of a year to sort out this matter are clearly set out in the Constitutional Court judgement.

Throughout the judgement, the Court makes it clear that by granting a one year 'grace' period, it wishes to protect the Unit's work that is "being done". t refers to "persons being investigated". It further stated that Judge Heath "continues temporarily to be head of the Unit until appropriate arrangements are made for his replacement."

With regard to this last point, the President of the Constitutional Court, speaking on behalf of the Court, said:

"Although there may be reasons for allowing sufficient time for all matters to be dealt with simultaneously, there are good reasons for the first respondent's (Judge Heath) position as the head of the SW to be regularised without undue delay."

In other words, the Constitutional Court required of us that Judge Heath be relieved of his duties without undue delay

You will also have seen that during the course of his judgement, the President of the Constitutional Court makes the following observation, concerning the uncompleted work of the SIU:

"The SIU is currently engaged in investigations into approximately 100 organs of state said to involve 22l580 cases. The investigations extend over all 9 provinces and include 12 national investigations."

By any account, this is a very considerable volume of work that is currently being handled by the SIU. As Minister Maduna has indicated, it would clearly be absurd and illogical for additional work to be given to this Unit, if this was legally possible.

In the light of everything we have said above, we find it very odd indeed that the Auditor General, according to your letter, is also keen that we act without reference to the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Let me also mention that we find it strange that a parliamentary committee (SCOPA) considers expenditure for the acquisition of defence equipment as a "major diversion of public resources…" requiring to be balanced by a "social payback".

As parliamentarians you must surely be aware of our common Constitutional obligation to maintain a national defence force, which, according to the Constitution, shall have the "primary object":

"to defend and protect the Republic, its territorial integrity and its people, in accordance with the Constitution and the principles of international law regulating the use of force."

In addition, this expenditure was considered by the parliamentary Defence Committee and approved by parliament

I would also like to deal with other matters of grave concern to our Government, including the President,

The first of these arise from the Report of SCOPA which was accepted by the National Assembly on November 2, 2000.

The critical issue in this regard is that SCOPA states that it is interested to carry out an investigation because our Government, foreign Governments and the prime contractors, major international companies, are prone to corruption and dishonesty.

If this is in fact the starting point for SCOPA, it seems that the investigation you seek is tantamount to a fishing expedition to find the corruption and dishonesty you assume must have occurred.

To illustrate these assertions, let me quote some passages from the SCOPA Report.

"By many accounts the international arms trade industry experiences a high incidence of malpractice, with purchasing countries often having been the victims of very costly exploitation. With this in mind, the Committee has considered the transactions and the broader financial and fiscal implications pertaining to the recent South African arms purchases."

Who gave what accounts to SCOPA?
Further the Report states:

"With international armaments markets having…recovered, the Committee fears that the large commitments by suppliers might now be resisted and even reneged upon. With South Africa unlikely to be a serious arms purchaser over the next few decades, this possibility needs to be watched closely."

What study has SCOPA done which shows the recovery of the international armaments markets and the possible response of the 'suppliers' to this development?

Further the Report says:

"Because of the possibilities of improper influence having been exerted in certain of these selections, further investigation is considered necessary."
What assessment did SCOPA carry out to establish the existence of these 'possibilities', which are these selections and why them and not others?

Further, again, the Report states:

"The Committee is concerned about the possible role played by influential parties in determining the choice of subcontractors by prime contractors."

What work was done by SCOPA to establish that there was a possible role by which influential parties? Do these include members of the Government? Which prime contractors and which subcontractors would have been influenced by these influential parties?

Further still, the Reports asserts:

"The government-to-government agreements, which make references to NIPs commitments, while noble in intent and of some influence in official international communications, have questionable contractual or legal standing."

What is questionable about these agreements? What is meant by "some influence in official international communications"? Is the suggestion being made that the Governments entered into meaningless agreements only for propaganda purposes? If this is so, on what basis is this allegation being made?

The seriousness with which you take your assumption that our Government, the trans-national corporations and foreign Governments are prone to corruption and dishonesty, is illustrated by the steps you have taken to ensure that investigations take place.

As you know, the acquisition process was led by a Ministerial Committee, which was chaired by the then Deputy President. The committee reported to the Cabinet. The Cabinet gave final approval for the acquisition.

This Committee dealt with the prime contracts and not the subcontracts which are a matter between the prime contractors and whoever they subcontract to.

The members of the Cabinet Committee were the then Deputy President, Thabo Mbeki, and Ministers Joe Modise, Trevor Manuel, Alec Erwin and Stella Sigcau.

The prime contractors are Blohm + Voss, Thompson CSF, Ferrostaal AG, Thyssen Nordseewerke GmbH, Agusta un'Azienda FINMECCANICA S.p.A, British Aerospace, British Aerospace (SAAB) and others, all of which are well-known and prestigious international companies.

The foreign governments involved are those of the UK, Sweden, Germany and Italy.

Your assumption of corruption and dishonesty is therefore specifically directed against these personalities, governments and corporations.

Natural justice demands that you both substantiate the allegation that the persons, governments and corporations we have mentioned are prone to corruption and dishonesty and provide even the most rudimentary or elementary evidence that any or all of these acted in a corrupt and dishonest manner.

I believe that it is a most serious matter indeed for our parliament or any section of it, to level charges of corruption against foreign governments and corporations without producing evidence to back up such allegations.

All of us have a duty to build friendly relations with the peoples of the world. We cannot achieve this by arbitrarily and falsely presenting these in the negative light that some have defined as being their duty with regard to our Government and country.

Least of all can it be the task of our Parliament to act in this manner.

As we have said, it is clear from your Report to parliament that you have a significant amount of written information in your possession and, presumably, other evidence.

This should enable you to present the information and evidence we suggest you present, substantiating the extremely damaging assumptions you state in your Report to parliament.

Obviously, should you have any evidence indicating possible criminal misconduct on the part of any of the individuals and corporations I have mentioned, you should hand it over to the Police Service.

In this regard, I also believe that any information you may have on Members of parliament, including Ministers who are members of the National Assembly, should immediately be brought to the attention of the Speaker.

The rules, I believe, prescribe that any investigation pursuant to this information would not fall within the competence of SCOPA.

You may also wish, as you inform the Speaker, to request her to take steps to ensure that the country is influenced about the alleged misconduct, provided that this is legal. We would have no problem with that to the extent that it relates to members of the Executive.

The next matter I would like to raise concerns the interaction between SCOPA and the Executive on the issue of the defence acquisition.

SCOPA has proceeded to reach conclusions on this matter without having heard the Cabinet. This is despite the request the Ministers made to meet SCOPA.

As you can see from the documents we have enclosed, we are of the firm view that because this meeting did not take place, SCOPA has seriously misdirected itself and thus arrived at decisions that are not substantiated by any facts.

It is difficult to understand how SCOPA could have gone as far as it has, investigating a decision taken by the Cabinet, without asking the people who took the decision any questions that SCOPA might have felt they should ask.

We hope this strange manner of proceeding was not driven by a determination to find the Executive guilty at all costs, based on the assumption we have already mentioned, that the Executive is prone to corruption and dishonesty.

It might be necessary that both the Legislature and the Executive try to draw the necessary conclusions from this experience, to ensure that we do not repeat the obviously wrong things that have happened during the handling by parliament of the defence acquisition issue.

In the meantime, I believe that those who occupy positions of leadership in parliament, including yourself, will have to make the matter clear to parliament as a whole, why it is that at least SCOPA believes that the Executive is prone to corrupt and dishonest practice.

As you are aware and as Minister Maduna indicated in his letter to the President, in her public statement issued on 27 December, 2000, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Frene Ginwala, makes the following comments:

"The Speaker is not aware of any resolution of Parliament or the National Assembly instructing the President to issue any Proclamation regarding the work of the Heath commission. Any such action would be of dubious legal and constitutional validity."


A Committee of the National Assembly has no authority to subcontract its work to any of these (investigative) bodies, or require them to undertake any particular activity, or to report directly to the Committee. Nor are Chairpersons expected to act on major issues without the agreement of the Committee. Such direction as the Assembly may wish to give would require specific referral by a resolution of the National Assembly, and be subject to the procedures provided in relevant legislation."

In his letter to the President, Minister Maduna reports that you informed the investigative units that SCOPA was in contact with a foreign "forensic accounting facility" that could draw up the terms of reference of the investigation you seek.

We must therefore include this unnamed "facility" among the bodies which, according to the Speaker, cannot be subcontracted by SCOPA.

From the statement of the Speaker it is clear that your letter to the President was ultra vires. This is true of any action you might have taken to cause any investigative unit to carry out any investigation.

This has put the Executive and its organs in an embarrassing situation, to the extent that you, and others, have conveyed the false information that the National Assembly had requested that various organs should carry out an investigation.

It is therefore necessary that specific steps be taken to correct this situation, to ensure that all of us, including SCOPA and you, respect the rule of law.

There is an additional matter I would like to raise with regard to your communication dated 21 November, 2000, to the "Joint Investigating Initiative", in which you mention the "international forensic accounting facility".

In this letter you say:

"Against uncertainties created through the media last week, of possible interference in the investigation by government, it was felt appropriate to mention this offer as a possible means through which SCOPA could assure the public of a comprehensive investigation."

According to this statement, because of what the press said, you became so fearful of possible government interference that you felt that you should accept the offer made by some "international facility".

Seemingly, this "facility" made its offer just on time to provide a way out of the "uncertainties created through the media"!

You were quite happy to accept the judgement of the media about the intentions of the Government. This was presumably because, as we have said, you know that the Government is prone to corruption and dishonesty.

Accordingly, according to this view, the Government must be assumed to have acted corruptly with regard to the defence acquisition, and would therefore, naturally, seek to cover up its misdeeds!

Whatever you say about our own investigative units in your letter to then, you also felt that they did not enjoy sufficient credibility with "the public" to be able to reassure this "public" of the integrity and honesty of the investigation, if the foreign "facility" was not involved in the investigation.

On what information do you base this assessment of the Auditor General, the Public Protector and the National Director of Public Prosecutions, all of whom have been confirmed in their positions by parliament?

I am certain that all these matters will need to be explained, including who this "facility" is, with whom they have discussed and when, why they felt that they should set the terms of reference for the inquiry you seek, who felt it appropriate to mention the offer to the investigative units, and so on.

I am not raising these questions so that you should report to the Executive. I mention them because they cause grave concern to the Executive, which is interested to hear straightforward answers.

Parliament will have to deal with these and other questions, as we have to respect the principle contained in our Constitution of the separation of powers.

In your 8 December, 2000 letter to the President, urging the involvement of the "Heath Unit" in the investigation, you say:

"SCOPA's reasons for including a role for the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), as one of the investigating parties, related to the SIU's particular powers and areas of competence and its relevant experience. It was apparent to us that the comprehensive investigation advocated would be weakened by its absence - mainly due to its authority in civil type actions and the role which could be played by its special tribunal arrangement."

I am certain that you are aware of the fact that in his letter to Minister Maduna, dated November 22, 2000, the Public Protector said:

"With regard to the application for a proclamation by the SIU, I am of the opinion that such a proclamation is not necessary at the present juncture…

"There is no evidence of any unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money and accordingly no need for the SIU to recover any assets or public money;

"The application by the SIU, is based primarily on the Special Review by the Auditor-General and does not raise any new evidence…

"I believe that such a proclamation by the President, is not necessary at this stage and that the application be pended for consideration by the President at a later date, if necessary."

I am also certain that you are familiar with the decision of the Constitutional Court, which contained the following view:

"The functions that the head of the SIU (Judge Heath) has to perform are executive functions, that wider our system of government are ordinarily performed by the police, members of the staff of the National Prosecuting Authority or the state attorney."

It is clear that you disagree with the views both of the Public Protector and the Constitutional Court, believing that there are public funds to be recovered and that neither the police, nor the Prosecuting Authority nor the state attorney have the same competence to act as does the SIU.

Accordingly, with regard to the paragraph of your letter to the President quoted above, it would help us enormously if you favoured us with a response to the following questions:

(a) what are the particular powers, areas of competence and relevant experience to which you refer, distinct from the powers, area of competence and relevant experience of our judiciary?

(b) in what way are the competencies mentioned under (a) above especially relevant to the determination of the truth about the defence acquisition, which determination of the truth would be weakened by the absence of the SIU?

We have publicly indicated our desire and willingness to have some of our Ministers meet SCOPA. I trust that, this time, this will actually take place.

Further, to enable us to give the proper and necessary direction to the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the South African Police Service, I request that SCOPA indicates to me the specific matters it wants investigated and why, providing the prima facie evidence which it believes justifies this investigation.

As of now, we do not have this prima facie eyidence and are completely at a loss as to what the loudly proclaimed wrongdoing consists in.

Parliament is, of course, at liberty to interact with the Public Protector and the Auditor-General as it wishes.

Let me reiterate the commitment contained in the attached statements, that the Executive would co-operate fully with any investigation necessitated by information that suggests that corruption might have occurred in the process of the defence acquisition.

Whoever has such information should make it available to any investigate unit of their choice, the Executive, as well as the general public, if they so wish.

The Government will also act vigorously to defend itself and the country against any malicious misinformation campaign intended to discredit the Government and destabilise the country.

I would like to inform you that copies of this letter and the enclosures will be sent to:

(a) the Speaker of the National Assembly;
(b) all members of SCOPA;
(c) the heads of the investigative units, including the SIU;
(d) the Chairpersons of the Defence, Trade and Industry, Finance and Public Enterprises parliamentary portfolio committees, as well as the parliamentary Audit Committee;
(e) the principal contracting companies;
(f) the relevant foreign governments; and
(g) the media.

The President has asked me to assure you that he did, indeed, give urgent attention to your request, as you asked.

Similarly, he and I respectfully request that you give urgent attention to all the matters raised in this letter.

Yours sincerely,
Leader of Government Business.

The Hon Dr Gavin Woods
The Standing Committee on Public Accounts
National Assembly
Cape Town


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