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De Lille backtracks on arms deal ‘lies’

Politics

Pretoria - Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille on Thursday withdrew her statement that officials lied to politicians about the number of jobs the arms deal was expected to create.

“I withdraw the statement that it was a lie. The 55,000 jobs were the projections. I withdraw the earlier statement,” she told the commission sitting in Pretoria.

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Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille is seen during a break at the Seriti Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria on Thursday, 24 July 2014. De Lille said she was vilified and called names after she blew the whistle on alleged corruption in the multi-billion rand arms deal."I was vilified, called names... I was called a useless idiot. I was followed wherever I went and even had a list of car registrations next to me as I was driving to check who's following me," she told the commission in Pretoria. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

She was being cross-examined by the legal representative for the trade and industry department.

Earlier, De Lille said officials involved in procurement for the arms deal lied and took the country's leaders for a ride.

“They must have taken leaders for a ride, and our leaders didn't ask any more questions because they were lied to. I think what they did was not only misleading... they lied,” De Lille said.

Evidence leader Simmy Lebala said SA National Defence Force generals who testified before the commission indicated the arms deal's offsets reached expectation because around 8000 jobs were created.

De Lille said: “We are living in a country where unemployment is very high, youth unemployment remains very high. You cannot run a country on projections... they are incompetent, and they lied.”

De Lille told the commission that she did not have the figures, only the projections.

Sapa

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