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News Alert: Why is S.Africa beaking EU sanctions & helping Zimbabwe militarily?

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  • pbs@iafrica.com
    From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org [Now this is a fascinating story, and its deeper than you think. Aloutette helicopters were the work-horses of the Rhodesian Army
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 7, 2005
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      From: WWW.AfricanCrisis.Org
      [Now this is a fascinating story, and its deeper than you think.
      Aloutette helicopters were the work-horses of the Rhodesian Army in the
      1970's. Allouettes were armed with machine guns and even 20mm cannons and
      were deadly weapons.

      Why is South Africa breaking an arms embargo and helping Mugabe to repair
      the Alouettes? Is Mugabe preparing to stave off another possible
      uprising, and is South Africa helping him secretly to be militarily
      prepared? In short - South Africa is helping to give one of the most evil
      rulers on the planet the military means to slaughter his people to keep
      his evil, corrupt regime in power!

      Just last night, on SABC3 TV news at 7pm, the former S.African Ambassador
      to Zimbabwe said that much SECRET work has gone on between the South
      African and Zimbabwean governments. He seemed to be saying that Mbekis
      "quiet diplomacy" really involved a lot of "quiet conniving". The way he
      said it, it seemed to me as if he was hinting at a lot of secret aid
      going on between the two countries.

      Take note that this is being done with "high-ranking members of the South
      African military community..." - which should tell you that our top brass
      in this country are involved in this. This is Military Aid - pure and
      simple - to beef up a dictator. I can't help wondering what other Aid is
      going on which we know nothing about. Jan]

      Pretoria - Armscor has sold spare parts to the value of more than R1m to
      the Zimbabwean government, which will enable the country's Alouette
      helicopters to take to the air again despite European sanctions.

      In addition, the South African government donated equipment to the value
      of more than R3m for this purpose to Zimbabwe.

      A Zimbabwean company - which was, according to information, established
      by high-ranking members of the South African military community - will
      apparently undertake the upgrading of the helicopters.

      Under normal circumstances, the National Conventional Arms Control
      Committee (NCACC) has to grant permission and issue a permit before
      military equipment can be exported to another country, but in this
      instance the regulation was waived as the NCACC regarded the transaction
      as a commercial and not a military matter.

      The NCACC informed Armscor that it was not necessary for the committee to
      issue an export permit as the spare parts did not fall under the weapons
      control act, said Armscor spokesperson Bertus Cilliers.

      The spares were advertised on Armscor's website as obsolete equipment and
      the Zimbabwean government made an offer to buy it, said Cilliers.

      The spares were supplied to Zimbabwe in March this year.

      The South African air force is in the process of phasing out its Alouette
      fleet, which will be replaced by new Italian helicopters.

      The sale of the spare parts cropped up last year after Zimbabwe had tried
      in vain to obtain spare parts for its fleet of Alouette helicopters.

      Several European countries have sanctions in place against Zimbabwe,
      which means that the country faces many closed doors.

      Zimbabwe is furthermore on the United Nations' blacklist of countries to
      which no weapons may be sold.

      Desperate for spares

      Apparently an Israeli businessman initially acted as go-between for South
      Africa and Zimbabwe.

      He apparently gave Zimbabwe a quotation of $20m (about R120m) for the
      spares, but the country decided it was too expensive and the transaction
      fell through.

      As a result, a Zimbabwean company with high-placed South Africans as
      directors was established to continue negotiations for the parts.

      Apparently a probe into this donation forms part of an investigation into
      alleged financial malpractice in Armscor.

      Helmoed-R�mer Heitman, military expert, said a military export permit
      should be issued whenever military helicopter spares were sold.

      In the instance of a government-to-government donation, such as that of
      naval patrol boats to Mozambique, no permit was required.

      Heitman said Zimbabwe was desperate for spares after its helicopters
      worked overtime in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo a
      couple of years ago.

      Several of the helicopters had been written off in the DRC and only a few
      were still serviceable due to a lack of proper maintenance.

      Edited by Tisha Steyn

      Source: News24.Com
      URL:

      http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Africa/News/0,,2-7-1442_1717400,00.html
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