De Lille distances herself from Winnie Arms Deal statement

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. File photo: Neil McCartney

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. File photo: Neil McCartney

Patricia de Lille on Tuesday distanced herself from a statement that ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was one of the “concerned MPs” who leaked information on the 1999 arms deal.

“I have noted the statement by Terry Crawford-Browne related to the so-called “De Lille Dossier” and I would like to put it on record that I did not tell Terry Crawford-Browne that Winnie Madikizela was one of the concerned ANC MPs who handed me the documents.

“I am distancing myself from these statements made by Crawford-Browne,” De Lille said in a statement in her capacity as a former Member of Parliament.

The Seriti Commission of Inquiry heard on Tuesday that Madikizela-Mandela was one of the “concerned MPs” who leaked information on the 1999 arms deal.

“One of the prime names, in fact the leader, was Ms Winnie Mandela,” arms deal critic Crawford-Browne told the inquiry in Pretoria.

He said information in the so-called “De Lille dossier” had been assembled by ANC intelligence operatives working with the party’s MPs.

“In the months before the supply agreements were signed, ANC whistleblowers produced boxes of documentation to support allegations of corruption and fraud,” said Crawford-Browne.

Cape Town mayor De Lille testified at the inquiry this year and handed in her dossier as evidence.

Co-commissioner Thekiso Musi asked Crawford-Browne to clarify who had compiled the De Lille dossier — African National Congress operatives or MPs.

Crawford-Browne responded: “The operatives were working on behalf of the ANC MPs who were very suspicious in Parliament about the arms deal issue. They were feeling that it was a misallocation of resources given the circumstances in those days.”

Commission chairman Judge Willie Seriti pressed Crawford-Browne to name the ANC officials.

Crawford-Browne said the MPs had left Parliament “for one reason or the other”.

He asked to hand the names to Seriti confidentially, but Seriti insisted Crawford-Browne mention the names publicly.

Crawford-Browne then named Madikizela-Mandela.

He said the documents were given to then judge Willem Heath in November 1999.

– Sapa

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