Arms deal criticism an attack on Mandela govt – Mbeki

Former president Thabo Mbeki. File Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former president Thabo Mbeki. File Picture: Refilwe Modise

Former president Thabo Mbeki slated arms deal report critics on Monday morning.

This follows leaders of political parties lashing out at President Jacob Zuma, and dismissing the Seriti commission of inquiry report as “a farce”, among other things.

The commission, under Judge Willie Seriti, found that no evidence was presented to it proving there was fraud, corruption or impropriety during the defence procurement (SDPP) process.

Mbeki alleges the critics are in some form of an agenda to discredit former president Nelson Mandela’s government as corrupt.

“This confirms that there are some in our country who are determined to ensure that at all costs, the perception is sustained among our people and the peoples of the world that the government President Nelson Mandela led was corrupt,” said Mbeki on a letter published on Facebook.

“In this regard, these people seem to have made the firm commitment that they will never allow the truth or anything else to defeat their strategic objective of successfully painting our then government as corrupt, basing themselves on the practice of repeating this allegation a million times, while producing not even a single fact to substantiate their allegation,” Mbeki added.

The former president also lashed out at the media for allegedly propagating rumours that the procurement of arms process was characterised by corruption.

“Most unfortunately, again many in our media seem to have maintained their stance in this regard and have joined the babel of tongues which now seek to discredit and delegitimise both the judicial commission of inquiry and its findings and conclusions, thus to confirm the resort to lies and deliberate fabrications as a legitimate instrument in our public discourse.”

“What remained unsaid, but is an essential component part of the argument about the allegedly ineluctable corruption in ‘arms deals’, is – what else would you expect of an African government?”

Read the full letter below:

What Do You Expect From the Natives

today in print