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SA lobby group try to stop Zimbabwe gunship delivery

by AP
25 January 2013 | 3548 Views
A South African civic campaign group says it is taking legal action to stop Zimbabwe from taking delivery of helicopter gunships from neighboring South Africa.




This afternoon Afriforum lodged an appeal at the North Gauteng High Court asking for an interim interdict prohibiting the defence force from delivering any helicopters or spares to the ZDF pending an application for a review of the decision to donate them.

Court papers list the minister of defence, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), and the secretary for defence in her capacity as head of the secretariat of the NCACC as the respondents.

Willie Spies, a law expert at AfriForum, said Friday the South African military agreed to donate its surplus of aging French-designed Alouette helicopters to Zimbabwe for "imminent delivery."

He said in a statement that South Africa's Defense Ministry and its National Conventional Arms Control Committee did not respond to questions on the donation but officials of both bodies confirmed arrangements have been finalized.

The group said it wants to prevent the helicopters being used to bolster the "visibility, mobility and presence" of President Robert Mugabe's loyalist military before elections this year. Zimbabwe is under a Western arms embargo that includes French spare parts for Alouettes.

The group decided to seek an interdict in court after learning that the defence department had confirmed that the helicopters and spares were "ready for dispatch".

Afrifocus Racist

Source: AP

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