JUDGE Willie Seriti berated Armscor’s project manager for submarines and frigates‚ Rob Vermeulen‚ on Thursday when he told the commission the arms procurement agency would not reveal sensitive technical information about its military equipment.
Mr Vermeulen angered Judge Seriti and his colleague‚ Judge Thekiso Musi‚ when he declared he would not testify with regard to certain sensitive technical information about the submarines‚ or provide documents pertaining to this.
He said he did not believe the information was relevant and said it would not affect the outcome of the commission if it was withheld from the commissioners.
"The information is of a technical nature and cannot be tabled at this commission. It could compromise the (South African) Navy and since there are other navies around the world that use the same submarine as our navy‚ the information would also negatively affect the safety of those countries‚” Mr Vermeulen said.
Judge Seriti said it was not Armscor’s call and the commission would decide whether the information should be made public or not.
"We must be provided with the list of documents you intend to exclude … and we will make the decision whether it should be excluded from the public‚ or not‚ for whatever reasons‚” he said.
"Armscor cannot say to this commission that we (judges) are not entitled to see the documents ... I am disturbed certain information will be deliberately withheld from the commission.”
Judge Seriti adjourned the hearings until after lunch and gave the evidence leaders strict instruction to speak to the Armscor representatives about the consequences of their actions. © BDlive 2013