South Africa arms deal with Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria, North Korea… questioned

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South African government has made stunning revelations that it is considering the sale of rounds of ammunition to Zimbabwe. The claims were first made by made by Democratic Alliance members of parliament who where in Zimbabwe last week on a three day fact finding mission last week.

They said South Africa’s National Arms Control Committee had approved a number of ‘dodgy deals’ with Iran, Syria, North Korea, Libya, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. This has been received with outrage.

Sibanengi Dube the Publicity and Information Secretary for the MDC in South Africa said there was no doubt that President Mugabe would use
the arms to “butcher MDC supporters and leaders.” He said it was “way above our wildest imagination that South Africa, whose President and SADC Chairman Jacob Zuma is the Chairman of SADC, a guarantor of the Global Political Agreement being implemented in Zimbabwe, could supply ammunition to trigger-happy Zanu PF Sadducees.”

Dube said they would also lobby the top leadership in the MDC to put the brakes on the deal. But African National Congress Chief Whip in Parliament Mathole Motshekga justified the proposed sale by saying ‘contrary to the DA (Democratic Alliance) disinformation, there is no arms embargo imposed against either Zimbabwe or Syria by the United Nations Security Council.’

Dube said that despite their argument common sense had to prevail as the southern African country was desperate for things like food, drugs, power and an improvement in infrastructure, instead of wasting money on arms.

On Monday The ANC Parliamentary caucus said it would ask Parliament to
investigate the DA for putting national security at risk after disclosing details of allegedly dodgy government arms deals. “Caucus will ask Parliament to investigate whether the DA has contravened the National Conventional Arms Control Act 41 of 2002 by disclosing details of the South African government’s arms deals with other countries, thereby putting the country’s national security at risk,” the office of the ANC chief whip said in a statement.

The statement continued, “The ANC Parliamentary Caucus will this week request that Parliament apply its mind on the Democratic Alliance’s report on the state of the country’s arms deals and take the necessary action,” said the ANC.

It said that according to Section 23(3) of the National Conventional Arms Control Act, “no person may disclose any classified document or the content thereof concerning the business of the Committee (NCACC) except with the permission of a competent authority or as required in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000”. Anyone contravening this law, can be fined or jailed for up to 20 years, or both.

The DA MPs accused Mugabe of preparing to go to war against the MDC
ahead of the next elections. MP’s, Wilmot James and Kenneth Mubu traveled to Zimbabwe on a fact finding mission and reported that credible sources had told them Mugabe was also trying to procure ammunition from South Africa, and was in discussions with Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea about funding a ‘war chest.’

The MP’s called Zuma to impose an arms embargo on Zimbabwe.

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