Weapons shipment: ‘chinese’ Tanks on N3 cause stir

2008-04-23 00:00

A large military convoy spotted on the N3 over the past few days is not destined for Zimbabwe and has no sinister motives.

The Witness was alerted to the convoy’s presence by a number of alarmed motorists who spotted the foreign army vehicles at various locations along the N3.

Concerns were raised that the army vehicles may be taking military equipment and armaments to Zimbabwe, to be used in combat against MDC supporters in the wake of the botched election there.

While some jumped to the conclusion that the convoy was Chinese in origin, others speculated that the vehicles may have been Americans heading to Zimbabwe through South Africa to initiate peacekeeping efforts there.

One motorist reported having seen two of the foreign military vehicles on Sunday. He described them as being large flat bed trucks, each carrying two tanks without fitted guns. Yesterday, more of the vehicles were seen on Town Hill.

When The Witness first called the SA National Defence Force yesterday, a spokesperson there claimed no knowledge of the convoy, but said it was highly unlikely to be arms destined for Zimbabwe.

Later, SA National Defence Force spokesman Nico Allie told The Witness that he had established that the convoy belonged to the Singaporean army, which was on its way to the Luhatla combat training centre at Bloemfontein for routine practice manoeuvres. “They come every year … they are definitely not headed to Zimbabwe,” he said.

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