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Johannesburg - The chief of the SANDF appeared before the arms deal inquiry on Friday morning.
General Solly Shoke was expected to give evidence about the SANDF’s role in the deal both in South Africa and externally.
In particular, Shoke is expected to talk about the defence force’s international obligations.
“He’s the only one who can talk about that,” said William Baloyi, spokesman for the Arms Procurement Commission.
The commission is investigating the 1999 arms deal.
Shoke, who was born in Alexandra, started his evidence with his brief CV.
“I think that this is one of the shortest CVs I’ve ever seen,” said Judge Willie Seriti, chairman of the commission.
“The CV has only nine lines.”
Shoke’s CV was short because he had wanted to be brief, but he expanded on this when questioned by the commission.
Shoke joined the liberation movement after the 1976 Soweto uprisings, trained in exile, then after 1994, joined the SANDF and rose through the ranks to army chief before rising to his current position of SANDF chief.
“I’m the commander of the entire force that is responsible for the defence of South Africa,” said Shoke when asked to describe his job.
On Thursday, the former chief of the SA Air Force, Lieutenant-General Willem Hechter, appeared before the commission.
He spoke about the two and three-tier system of training SAAF pilots and the need for the three-tier system.
The three-tier system has pilots starting on Pilatus trainer aircraft, then moving on to the Hawk trainer fighter jets, then the Gripen fighter jets.
This system is part of the SANDF’s rationale for buying both Gripens and Hawks in the arms deal, rather than just Gripens.
Previous military witnesses have said the decision to go with the three-tier system was taken by higher up, and Hechter confirmed this.
Earlier this week, the commission heard evidence on how the defence acquisition system works, from acquisition expert Captain Jorrie Jordaan of the SA Navy.
The commission takes a break next week, resuming on September 30 with witnesses from Armscor.
Armscor was involved in the acquisition of the arms deal equipment.
The list of witnesses from Armscor has not yet been released.