There were 'neither weapons nor ammunition' on plane to Cuba - SARS

2018-07-27 15:39
Military aircraft at the Waterkloof air force base. (File: Herman Verwey/Gallo)

Military aircraft at the Waterkloof air force base. (File: Herman Verwey/Gallo)

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

The South African Revenue Service (SARS), under which customs officials fall, has also moved to reject claims made last weekend by a Sunday newspaper that the military was trying to smuggle weapons to Cuba on a chartered flight.

SARS spokesperson Sicelo Mkosi confirmed the cancellation of the South African Airways (SAA) flight that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) chartered to fly Cuban technicians back to their country.

ALSO READ: SAA chartered plane will still fly to Cuba, but won't be carrying weapons

Rapport reported that the aircraft, meant to transport the Cuban technicians, was carrying firearms and ammunition as well.

"SARS wishes to clarify media reports that customs officials discovered R4 and R5 rifles, 7.62mm light machine guns and ammunition on-board an aircraft at Waterkloof air force base last Saturday, 23 July 2018," Mkosi said.

"Our customs officials were working with colleagues in the SANDF to clear the aircraft, and we can report that neither weapons nor ammunition were found in the flight or passenger luggage during the inspection of the flight and documents presented to the customs officials."

'Full commitment to cooperation'

Mkosi said SARS pledged its "full commitment to cooperation with the SANDF and other relevant government agencies at national points of entry in the effort to protect the interests of the country".

Earlier this week, SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi dispelled the reports and said the SANDF rejected the allegations with contempt.

"The equipment in question was heavy vehicle simulators for training purposes and were cleared by Customs and ARMSCOR following due process," Mgobozi said.

ALSO READ: SANDF rejects claims it transported arms on SAA flight, says it was equipment for training

"The SANDF would like to state that there were no small arms or munitions that formed part of the consignment as reported."

Mgobozi said the equipment was earmarked for SANDF members to be trained in the technical aspects of simulator development, maintenance and repairs as part of the bilateral agreement reached with the Cuban Armed Forces.

"This is aligned with the need to develop the necessary technical scarce skills in the SANDF as identified and directed in Milestone 1 of the South African Defence Review 2015."

Read more on:    saa  |  sars  |  sandf  |  pretoria  |  aviation  |  weapons

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Call Centre Consultants

Western Cape
Pro Placements Recruitment Agency
R4 500.00 - R5 000.00 Per Month

Principal Civil Engineer

Cape Town
RPO Services
R650 000.00 - R750 000.00 Per Year


Cape Town
Specifying Personnel
R8 000.00 - R10 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

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 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.