Zuma updated on arms inquiry
President Jacob Zuma has received an update from the commission of inquiry into the arms deal, commonly known as the arms procurement commission.
"The update was given in line with the terms of reference within which the commission is to conduct its work," Zuma's spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement on Wednesday.
It had to submit interim reports and recommendations to the president from time to time, and at least every six months prior to the finalisation of its report.
Zuma established the commission in September 2011 to investigate allegations of fraud, corruption, impropriety or irregularity in the arms procurement process.
"The president expresses his full confidence and support for the commission in its work and underscores the integrity and independence attached to the commission and its work.
"The commission is progressing well and must be allowed to complete its mandate unhindered by any preconceived or prescribed outcomes."
In a separate statement, the commission said the time for public submissions on its terms of reference had expired.
"The public submissions to the commission are now closed. However, the chairperson has discretion to consider submissions made after the closing date," commission spokesman William Baloyi said.
The commission was now starting the second phase of its work, which was to analyse the submissions and documentation it had received from government departments, chapter nine institutions, private entities, and interested parties.
From the submissions and documentation, the commission would identify issues that needed to be further probed, and conduct the necessary private investigations, both internally and outside of South Africa.
"It will interview potential witnesses and compile a list of witnesses. In short, the commission will be laying the ground work for the public hearings, a process that is expected to run until the end of the year.
"It is anticipated that the public hearings will start in the first quarter of 2013," Baloyi said.