Judge Willie Seriti. Picture: SOWETAN
Judge Willie Seriti. Picture: SOWETAN

JUDGE Willie Seriti, chairman of the commission of inquiry into the arms deal, is expected to make a statement on Monday on damaging allegations made by former senior investigator Mokgale Moabi, who has questioned the integrity of the commission.

Commission spokesman William Baloyi said on Sunday that Mr Moabi’s stature meant the claims he made in his letter of resignation, which was leaked to the media last week, had to be addressed. Mr Moabi is a respected Pretoria attorney and former acting judge.

Mr Baloyi said he believed the commission’s integrity was intact despite the allegations, although their effect on the commission could not be ignored.

Two advocates have warned that the credibility of the commission will be harmed if Judge Seriti does not deal with Mr Moabi’s allegations.

In his resignation letter, Mr Moabi said Judge Seriti had a "second agenda" that was at odds with the commission’s mandate to uncover the truth about the multibillion-rand arms contracts and that he could no longer be part of its work.

Mr Moabi said it appeared that unknown persons were dictating processes at the commission and that it secretly aimed to discredit witnesses called to testify in March.

Institute of Accountability in Southern Africa director Paul Hoffman SC on Sunday urged Judge Seriti to deal comprehensively with the allegations, failing which his credibility would be "shot to pieces" and he would be forced to resign.

Advocate Johan Kruger, director of the Centre of Constitutional Rights of the FW de Klerk Foundation, said if Mr Moabi’s allegations were true, the commission’s "integrity, as well as its ability to achieve its objectives is highly questionable".

"If the Seriti commission is to retain its credibility, it is essential that it should deal convincingly with the serious allegations. If it does not establish beyond any doubt the integrity of the chairperson and the transparency of the commission’s procedures, its final report and findings will do little to save anybody’s reputation."