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I last saw indefatigable activist Andrew Feinstein three years ago at the modest north London office of Corruption Watch UK. At the time he was railing against the proposed nuclear power deal that Jacob Zuma was hell-bent on pushing through. Feinstein helped win that round. Last week, however, he celebrated victory in an even harder fight, one going back to 1999.
Feinstein is a former ANC firebrand Parliamentarian who was drummed out of the party (and the country) for asking too many questions about South Africa’s R70bn Arms Procurement deal. He discovered that arms manufacturers had paid ANC colleagues bribes of over $300m to secure contracts. Feinstein documented his story in 2007’s bestseller titled After The Party.
When the Seriti Commission was finally launched to investigate Arms Deal bribery allegations, Feinstein delivered a 200,000-word submission and piles of documentary evidence painstakingly compiled by investigators around the world. But this slam dunk info didn’t support a politically-motivated whitewash. So Judge Willie Seriti stopped the evidence being admitted.
On Wednesday, the Pretoria High Court found Seriti’s grounds for doing so were spurious and set aside the commission’s report. So the ANC’s 20 year old secret will now be exposed to the light. In another break with his implicated predecessors, SA president Cyril Ramaphosa refused to oppose the court application by Corruption Watch and fellow NGO Right2Know. Nice one Cyril, Andrew and Co. More evidence that SA’s wheels of justice grind slowly. But very finely.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.