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The City of Tshwane apologised on Monday about a water pipe burst at the Sammy Marks Conference Centre, which resulted in the adjournment of the Seriti Commission of Inquiry into the 1999 arms deal.
“We confirm that the incident was of an incidental nature not specifically intended at disrupting the proceedings of the commission,” spokesman Blessing Manale said in a statement.
“Once again (the city) extends our apology to the presiding officials of the commission and equally thank our technical services department staff for their speedy response.”
Manale said a city foreman received a call at 3am that the fire sprinkler system in the Galleria Offices had gone off and flooded the offices.
He said that as a precautionary measure the fire water supply to the offices was isolated until a contractor was able to repair the sprinklers at 7am.
When the contractor opened the valve, which leads to the demolished Munitoria Building, it caused a flood in the conference centre, Manale said.
“The city was again notified of the new flood, and I then informed the centre manager of the situation and the contractor has been on site since 2pm...,” he said.
Commission spokesman William Baloyi said the commission would resume at 9.30am on Wednesday.
The defence and military veterans department, arms procurement parastatal Armscor, and the National Treasury are expected to make presentations to the commission on the rationale behind the armaments acquisition.
President Jacob Zuma appointed the commission, chaired by Judge Willie Seriti, in 2011 to investigate alleged corruption in the 1999 multi-billion rand arms deal. - Sapa