NEWS & ANALYSIS

Tony Yengeni shouldn't sit on Defence Review Committee - Maynier

DA MP says former convict is politically toxic and could contaminate process

Tony Yengeni should be fired from the Defence Review Committee

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Lindiwe Sisulu, should immediately fire Tony Yengeni, who was convicted of fraud and is currently being investigated for illegal company directorships, from the committee dealing with the Defence Review.

The fact is that Tony Yengeni is politically toxic and risks contaminating the entire defence review process.

The last Defence Review - a process aimed at long-term Defence Force planning - was conducted thirteen years ago. The Interim National Defence Force Service Commission therefore recommended that the Defence Department once again undertake an extensive and properly funded Defence Review.

The Defence Review is absolutely vital because it provides an opportunity to reset the mandate, capabilities and funding levels of the Defence Force.

A high-level committee, headed up by Roelf Meyer and including Tony Yengeni, has now been appointed to conduct the Defence Review. The fact is that Tony Yengeni should never have been appointed to this committee because:

  • he was convicted of fraud relating to the arms deal and sentenced to four years imprisonment; and
  • he is currently being investigated by the police for illegal directorships in contravention of Section 218 of the Companies Act (1973), which states that anybody convicted of theft, fraud, forgery or perjury is to be disqualified from being a director of a company.

His values clearly contrast with the core values of the Defence Force, which include integrity and honesty.

Why should ordinary soldiers serving in the Defence Force, who are required to uphold the values of honesty and integrity, be reviewed by a crook such as Tony Yengeni?

Tony Yengeni is clearly not a fit and proper person to serve on the Defence Review Committee, and the Minister's poor judgment now risks compromising the entire Defence Review.

The DA therefore calls on Minister Sisulu to immediately fire Tony Yengeni from the committee conducting the Defence Review.

Statement issued by David Maynier MP, DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, August 22 2011

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