Zim helicopter review postponed

2013-03-27 15:59

Johannesburg - A court review into the SANDF's plan to send helicopters to Zimbabwe has been postponed until next month, civil society organisation AfriForum said on Wednesday.

"The matter was postponed by agreement of all the parties. The minister of defence was not ready," said AfriForum's legal representative Willie Spies.

He said the review would be heard on 18 April in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

In late February, an interim court order to stop the proposed delivery of South Africa's fleet of Alouette III helicopters and its spares to the Zimbabwean Air Force was confirmed.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) and the secretary of defence did not oppose the granting of a final interdict.

The interdict stands pending the completion of AfriForum's application to review the SANDF's decision to donate the military equipment to its neighbouring country.

On Wednesday, Spies said the defence minister had filed papers detailing the decision-making process to the court.

He said the review AfriForum wanted would essentially ask the court to investigate whether the SANDF's decision was a lawful one.

AfriForum believed it contravened the public finance management act, which stipulated that no donation can be made unless certain procedures were followed.

Spies said his organisation also wanted to investigate if laws were adhered to which required a permit before conventional arms can be exported.

The Alouette helicopters were in service in the SA Air Force for over 40 years, but became obsolete with the arrival of a fleet of Italian-made helicopters procured as part of the controversial arms deal.

Members of the opposition have expressed concern that the donation of the helicopters would send out a message that the South African government condoned the use of force by the Zimbabwean Defence Force to return President Robert Mugabe to power in the upcoming elections in that country.

  • Brandon Buckley - 2013-03-27 16:05

    We giving them away, but can't afford to arm our own?? WTF???

      Barry Fritz - 2013-03-27 17:24

      I had been through denel and the choppers are standing in different states of disrepair , problem with this goverment is they have chased all the good white pilots away and don't have any black replacements. If south africa had to be attacked by the neighbouring countries we would be in deep dwang , cause the people are over paid and undertrained . And the over paid goverement officials don't know what they are doing

  • Alan Street - 2013-03-27 16:27

    Why not auction them off ?!

      Whowants Toknow - 2013-03-27 17:25

      Because there will be no kickbacks if it is auctioned! I organize gift, you line my pockets. By suggesting an transparent process by which the country in stead of individuals will benefit, you are revealing your colonial tendencies! lol

  • Dumi Zulu - 2013-03-27 16:34

    Irrigardless of their internal issues, Zimbabwe is one of our greatest allies. When the CAR guys decide to take a trip down south we definately know that Zim has got our back.

      Terence Pattison - 2013-03-27 16:37

      Do you also believe in the Tooth Fairy?

      AntikZa - 2013-03-27 16:45

      You are talking through your a$$

      Brandon Buckley - 2013-03-27 16:56


      Marc Ross - 2013-03-27 17:02

      Glad they'll have our back, knowing our lot that will be the part facing the enemy. But the idea of Congolese taking a trip down South is entertaining. History tells us that our current majority migrated from the Congo after getting their asses whipped in tribal wars. Are the Congolese going to finish the job 500 years later?

      Nigel Burgess - 2013-03-27 17:28

      There's an idiot born every minute. There truly is no hope, really none at all if this is the mentality we must deal with.

      Barry Fritz - 2013-03-27 17:31

      Dumi u don't know what u are talking about , mugabe is a shona and will have your throat slit with out even blinking an eye, you obviously haven't seen the destruction he has caused in zimbabwe in the name of democracy. But wait for it SA will be experiencing the same outstanding democracy as Zim has faced.and if you are not in parlament you will not reap the rewards

  • Marc Ross - 2013-03-27 16:46

    JZ doesnt need the helicopters, after all you cant screw it. Bob doesnt need a helicopter, you cant fly a chopper with a banana in each hand. Give them to Julias, no-one has given him sh-t in a while and SARS took his watch,his farm and his woodwork tools.

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-03-27 17:04

    Giving the worst dictator since Stalin and Hitler the means to intimidate and oppress his people. Way to go morons!!!

  • Kenny Grass - 2013-03-27 17:05

    A donation?Plus a free mine on the side,another squeaky clean arms deal.

  • Neil Brown - 2013-03-27 17:31

    Irony is, most of those Aloe's flew as K-Cars in the Rhodesian war, against Mugabe and comrades....

  • Mandy Casey - 2013-03-27 17:34

    Send the choppers to CAR

  • Vic Grant - 2013-03-28 07:55

    i as a tax payer condemn any donations to Bob's air force or army.

  • Apostle Donn Makaveli - 2013-03-28 09:21

    Mamu Mapisa Nqakula get this! The peoples of ma country don't need no fleets of used up helicopters but your solidarity against a rogue state as fellow African brothers and sisters

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