Johannesburg - Arms Procurement Commission chairman Judge Willie Seriti, challenged to take a lie-detector test by one of its investigators who resigned claiming a hidden agenda was at play, made it clear yesterday he would not be taking up the offer.

“My response is that a lie detector test is no substitute for facts,” he said.

Seriti was responding to Pretoria attorney Norman Moabi, who wrote to him suggesting they both take lie-detector tests after his allegations were dismissed by Judge Seriti as false and based on a personal grudge and professional jealousy.

Moabi resigned this month. His resignation letter made allegations about Seriti’s control over information flowing to and from the commission, and raised concerns that efforts were under way to prevent the full truth about the arms deal scandal from seeing the light of day.

Seriti said: “I have no intention of engaging in a public/media spat with Mr Moabi.”

However, he felt “obliged to briefly comment on some of his latest utterances” contained in a letter from Moabi which he said reached the commission only after its contents had been “extensively quoted” in the Mail & Guardian.

“An invitation is now being made for me to undergo a lie detector test. My response is that a lie detector test is no substitute for facts.

“If Mr Moabi had proof of the second agenda that he alleges, he should simply have produced it. He cannot rely on his misplaced perceptions.

“I wish to make it clear that the commission will henceforth not respond to any further media enquiries or questions relating to the allegations made by Mr Moabi,” Seriti said.

He appealed for the commission to be given “space” to focus on its preparations for the hearings that would start in March.

“Save for exceptional cases, these hearings will be open to the public and the public will have an appropriate opportunity to observe and judge for themselves whether the commission is true to its mandate or not,” he said.

Cape Argus