Chippy Shaik may be called to arms commission

Shamin "Chippy" Shaik, chief of acquisitions for the South African National Defence Force during a controversial arms deal, may be subpoenaed to appear before the Seriti commission of inquiry, SABC radio reported on Wednesday.

Commission spokesperson William Baloyi told SAfm that they would send Shaik a formal notice about the witnesses who have mentioned him so far.

"Our evidence leaders would have to get into contact with him, sit down with him and exchange information … Based on that, the commission might come out with a process that might include to formally subpoena him," he said.

According to the report, Shaik has returned from Australia and is in contact with the commission.

Baloyi said that first engagement and notification had to take place before a decision on a subpoena was made. On Tuesday, arms procurement parastatal Armscor told the commission it was not involved in procurement in the arms deal.

Standard policy procedures
SABC radio reported that acting general manager of acquisitions Dawie Griesel told the commission, sitting in Pretoria, that there was a deviation from standard policy procedures.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the multibillion-rand deal.

The government acquired, among other items, 26 Gripen fighter aircraft and 24 Hawk lead-in fighter trainer aircraft for the South African Air Force.

The defence and military veterans' department, Armscor, and the treasury are expected to make presentations to the commission on the rationale behind the acquisitions. – Sapa

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