DA Wants Arms Control Committee to Account

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BYLINE: CHRISTELLE TERREBLANCHE Political Bureau

THE DA wants the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) to explain to Parliament which arms sales the cabinet has approved and why the body still lacks the capacity to provide quarterly reports to Parliament.

DA defence spokesman MP David Maynier, who last year questioned the committee's alleged lack of intervention in dodgy arms deals with human rights violators, yesterday charged that the NCACC has not provided Parliament with any of the three reports due since the new administration took office.

He called this "unacceptable" and said the NCACC - a cabinet committee that performs oversight over arms sales - had become "a serial violator of the very law it is supposed to enforce".

The seriousness of the failing is emphasised in the auditor-general's 2008/09 annual report on defence, which noted that no quarterly reports were received during the previous financial year either.

The National Conventional Arms Control Committee Act requires that a quarterly report on "all conventional arms exports concluded during the preceding quarter" be tabled in Parliament.

It has further come to light that the auditor-general also expressed concern in a confidential 2009 defence department management report which stressed that "no parliamentary report was obtained to prove that (the NCACC) submitted for all four quarters" of the previous two financial years since 2007. …