Arms deal: We need closure

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk this week took the unusual step of requesting that President Kgalema Motlanthe form an independent commission of inquiry to probe the arms deal.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureates also suggested an investigation into the possibility of cancelling the arms deal and recovering payments already made.

Last week the Scorpions launched a series of simultaneous raids in seven locations in three provinces looking at allegations of fraud and corruption “relating to the fight against the conduct of the arms deal”.

The raids flowed from the Scorpions’ belated corruption probe of defence multinational BAE Systems—and the R1-billion in “commissions” the company paid on the deal.

Investigators believe the commissions were partly designed to conceal bribes used to influence decision-makers, including the late defence minister, Joe Modise.

The search warrants show that racketeering, corruption, money laundering and fraud are suspected.

This week,
Did the African National Congress jump the gun by recalling former president Thabo Mbeki on the strength of an untested, contentious high court judgement?

2. The ANCYL’s ‘cockroach’ fumigator
Another ANC Youth League leader is in hot water over hate speech and incitement to violence.

ANC’s premier A-list

The ANC’s first provincial election lists indicate that those who strongly supported Jacob Zuma before the party’s Polokwane conference will be favoured to serve in Parliament and provincial legislatures, mostly for the first time.

4. Mugabe power under threat as troops riot over pay
Dozens of Zimbabwean soldiers rioted in Harare on Monday, attacking banks after they were unable to withdraw their near worthless pay, in a further sign that Robert Mugabe may be losing control over the forces that have kept him in power.

5. Can Helen overcome history?
United States president elect Barack Obama’s analysis that his election made history by overcoming history is inspiring Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille’s election campaign.

6. Jobs scarce abroad, but South Africans move away
Advertising executive Penny Holt loves her native South Africa but power cuts, a murky political climate and widespread violent crime made her think about leaving the nation she once viewed as a beacon of hope.

7. Doomed Scorpions strike hard
Striking back amid its death throes, the Scorpions unit launched massive, coordinated raids on Wednesday in what appears to be a final bid to lance the festering sore of the arms deal.

8. Judge grills Zuma lawyer on Nicholson ruling
Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Louis Harms on Friday lashed out at Judge Chris Nicholson’s findings that former president Thabo Mbeki and his Cabinet conspired against African National Congress president Jacob Zuma.

9. Judgement day for Nicholson
In what has been called an activist judgement, Judge Chris Nicholson cleared the way for Jacob Zuma to become South Africa’s next president and indirectly put former president Thabo Mbeki in the dock.

10. Obama—we should dry our eyes quickly
My first visit to Texas was in 1968, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination of president John Kennedy in Dallas.