Errant Witnesses to be Subpoenaed: Judge Seriti

By Oliver Ngwenya    03-Sep-2014 23:51 UTC+02:00
Judge Seriti of the Seriti Commission Considers What to do with the Three Witnesses Image:

Judge Seriti of the Seriti Commission Considers What to do with the Three Witnesses

The chairman of the Seriti Commission has indicated that he intends for the witnesses who had withdrawn from giving evidence on the commission last week to come back onto the platform and give their evidence.

This stems from the announcement last week by three of the witnesses who were due to give evidence before the Commission, citing gross irregularities that they argued were so entrenched that they would compromise the work of the Commission and only render it as a form of cover up instead of as a platform for finding out the truth.

The Seriti Commission was appointed by President Jacob Zuma to investigate the alleged irregularities and corruption in the 1999 Arms Procurement Deal. The three witnesses who decided to withdraw from providing evidence before the Commission were former ANC Member of Parliament, Andrew Feinstein, World renowned author, Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren.

Last week, the three witnesses announced that they had decided to leave the Commission because it had become so compromised that the end product of its endevours would be to cover up the whole saga. They further indicated that they did not believe that their withdrawal would have legal implications because their subpoenas had expired. They had initially been meant to give evidence on the fourth, the fifth and the sixth of August for Feinstein, Holden and and van Vuuren respectively. After the announcement that they would be called back to give evidence, van Vuuren disputed the fact that he had received additional subpoenas from the Commission. He added that, if he did, he would seek legal advice. The other potential witnesses could not be subpoenaed as they were said to be out of the country. The lawyers representing the three, Lawyers for Human Rights, said on Wednesday that they could only be in a position to comment if and when the subpoenas had been served on their clients.

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