DA wants answers over Madagascar arms deal

2012-02-12 14:24
Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance has called for an investigation into a claim that South Africa was used as a transit point for riot-control weapons by ousted Madagascan president Marc Ravalomanana in 2009.

The claim was contained in a leaked US state department diplomatic cable, the Sunday Independent newspaper reported.

DA defence spokesperson David Maynier said National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) chair Jeff Radebe should immediately authorise an investigation into the cable's details.

"Recognising that his security forces lacked proper riot control gear, the president [Marc Ravalomanana] has embarked on a buying spree of riot control gear from suppliers in China, using South Africa as a transit point," the US state department claimed in the cable dated March 4 2009.

"On at least two separate occasions, confirmed by RSO airport police contacts, the president has utilised his company's privately owned aircraft, a ATR 42-320 registration #5R-MJT and affectionately named Tiko Air, to fly to South Africa to pick up much needed riot control gear (shields, body armor, tear gas, rubber bullets, and uniforms) for his security forces," the cable continued.

"Bypassing the cumbersome customs bureaucracy, the aircraft arrives at Ivato International's military section where it is unloaded and hauled off by military trucks for their immediate deployment to the security forces making up the EMMO-Nat (Etat-Major Mixte Operationnel au Niveau National) units."

'Suspicious sale'

Maynier said the NCACC was required to authorise the transport of any conventional arms through or over South African territory or territorial waters by issuing a conveyance permit.

"The NACACC's 2009 annual report shows that no conveyance permits were issued."

This suggested that Ravalomanana's attempt to import riot control gear, using South Africa as a transit point, may have been illegal.

"This is not the only suspicious sale of conventional arms prior to Madagascar coup," Maynier said.

The NCACC also authorised the sale of R2 347 000 of riot control equipment to Madagascar the same year.

The arms deal was authorised in record time and on an ad hoc basis by the NCACC, he said.

"The riot control gear appears to have been exported to military or paramilitary forces just prior to the coup. There was a high probability that the riot control gear would be used for internal repression."

The NCACC should never have authorised the export of riot control equipment to Madagascar, Maynier said.

"I will be writing to Radebe requesting that the NCACC's inspectorate investigates."

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  marc ravalomanana  |  madagascar  |  johannesburg  |  politics


Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Tuesday Kuils River - 18:48 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Tuesday Muizenberg - 10:59 AM
    Road name: Main Road Both Ways
    ROADWORKS with stop/go controls at Atlantic Road - expect peak time delays (until July 2015)
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:


The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.