Choppers not going to Zim - for now

2013-04-18 22:21

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A court on Thursday further delayed a donation of military helicopters to Zimbabwe's army after the planned transfer sparked an outcry ahead of polls in the neighbouring nation.

The AfriForum lobby group, which brought the matter before the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, said the court had upheld an earlier ruling blocking the delivery of spares and frames from South Africa's retired chopper fleet to Zimbabwe.

"The helicopters aren't going anywhere," AfriForum's Willie Spies said.

The French-developed Alouette III helicopter equipment is intended for the Zimbabwean Defence Force (ZDF), which critics allege backed President Robert Mugabe in previous bloody elections.

The defence department said the decision to give away the spares dated back to 1997. The helicopters were used from the early 1960s until 2007 when they were retired.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to hold elections this year - though no date has yet been given - to replace a shaky compromise government between Mugabe and long-time foe Morgan Tsvangirai.

The two were forced in the deal by regional powers, including South Africa, after election violence in 2008 killed around 200 people and caused an economic meltdown.

Critics including AfriForum fear Zimbabwe's army is enhancing its visibility and mobility ahead of the poll.

The Democratic Alliance has accused President Jacob Zuma's government of bordering on "state-sponsored smuggling" to help Zimbabwe's military get around international arms embargoes.

The equipment is set to be shifted without clearance under arms export regulations, which stipulate no trade with aggressive or repressive states, as it reportedly had been stripped of all weapons systems.

The European Union and the United States imposed a visa ban and assets freeze on Mugabe and his inner circle, as well as an arms embargo on the country, following disputed presidential polls in 2002.

United Nations sanctions against Zimbabwe, including an arms embargo, were vetoed in 2008.

Under the power sharing deal with Tsvangirai, Mugabe has retained control of the army and police. Both forces are seen as highly loyal to the 89-year-old veteran leader.

Read more on:    afriforum  |  da  |  robert mugabe  |  willie spies  |  jacob zuma  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  military

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
26 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.