Radebe 'didn't know' about Ratels

2011-06-09 22:42

Cape Town - Justice Minister Jeff Radebe on Thursday said he did not know how South African Ratel armoured infantry carriers may have ended up in strife-torn Yemen.

Radebe was responding to a question from Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier, who has circulated a Reuters photograph taken this week, showing Yemeni soldiers, who had defected to opposition forces battling the regime, sitting on a Ratel in Sana'a.

Maynier asked Radebe, who is chair of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), whether he was aware of this, and whether the committee was investigating a possible violation of the end-user certificate by another country that had bought Ratels from South Africa.

"There is no evidence that these infantry vehicles were exported directly to Yemen, but my question again is, is the minister aware of this case and is this case being investigated by the NCACC's inspectorate as a possible violation of user certificate agreements?" Maynier asked.

Radebe replied: "On Yemen, I'm unaware of any rerouting that has happened there. If Mr Maynier has any information he can tell us, but also we will find out from the inspectorate."

Yemen is gripped by bloody political turmoil as government troops battle Islamic militants and separatist tribesmen.

The NCACC's annual report for 2010 shows South Africa exported R373.8m worth of conventional arms to Yemen last year.

This included R239m of Category A weaponry, defined as "sensitive major conventional implements of war that could cause heavy personnel casualties".

The NCACC approved arms sales of R68.9m to Libya last year. A breakdown shows Libya bought R1.9m worth of Category A weapons, R10.7m of Category B weapons (such as assault rifles) and R56m of Category C (support items like radios) equipment.

Pro-democracy protests

Radebe hastened to add, however, that South Africa had not exported arms to nations affected by pro-democracy protests that had swept through North Africa and the Middle East this year, including Libya.

"Since the revolution started in North Africa in December, January this year, we have put on hold many of those things and in fact we have denied applications that have come before this committee, but that would be for another time because our main preoccupation for now is really 2010.

"The other countries that we have put on hold in the period under review ... where we denied countries such as Gabon, Syria, Yemen, Namibia and Zimbabwe."

He added: "In terms of the export to Libya, it is indicated there, and the report indicates what category of weapons was sold there, but I need to emphasise that this was in 2010. We have not exported anything in 2011."

Radebe took exception to repeated demands from Maynier to say whether last year's arms sales to Libya included sniper rifles.

"He did not answer the question. He could answer it with a simple yes or no. So my question stands," Maynier said.

Radebe indicated he was not at liberty to disclose the exact nature of the hardware sold to Muammar Gaddafi's regime, but referred to fact that the categories are indicated in the NCACC report.

"I have answered Mr Maynier, so him saying that I did not answer his question is totally wrong. I cannot answer the way he wants me to answer and he has the answer in front of him, if he has the annual report.

"It is totally irregular for him to want me to answer in the manner in which he wants, like he is a principal. I'm not a school boy."

Asked about the approval of the export of R8m worth of arms last year to Syria, which is now seeing a crackdown on opposition protests, Radebe said the weapons had in fact been sold to a United Nations peacekeeping operation "that happened to be there".

"It had nothing to do with a direct authorisation to the Syrian government. It was for a United Nations procurement, nothing else."

  • Blougroen - 2011-06-09 23:00

    Let him write out a hundred thousand times - "I should not sell sniper rifles to dictators with who I am good friends"

      cliffarc - 2011-06-10 00:51

      - ' I'm not a school boy ' - Hmmm - was he ever at school ?

  • Macho Mike - 2011-06-09 23:12

    Eish Mr Radebe, everyone knows how the Ratels ended up in Yemen! Hau, the Ratels were driving up the N3 when they got highjacked! The highjackers made the soldiers drive them up through Africa, passed Uncle Bob who was sleeping,through Zambia, around Lake Malawi, then over land to Kenya. Here the highjackers decided not to go through Somalia incase the highjackers themselves were highjacked by the ship highjackers, so they gooied a left and motored up through Sudan. When they hit the Egypt / Libya border, they heard reports that the area was full of k*k, not only bacause Zuma was visiting, but there was a war. They gooied a right and drove as fast as they could, until they ran out of fuel. And they then discovered they were in Yemen, and got attacked by some rebel soldiers who stole the Ratels. The Ratel drivers and highjackers were recently seen hitchiking just south of the Congo, trying to get back to SA, to report the matter to the Police, who have yet to open a case doket because thieves broke into the cop shop and stole all the documents and pens recently. And that Mr Radebe, is whathappened i belief.

      Expat - 2011-06-10 00:00

      No no! The TOKOLOSHE stole all the documents!

      Frungy - 2011-06-10 02:55

      Eish! I just parked it outside my house and the next morning it was gone!!!

      bostroeppie - 2011-06-10 08:02

      Now that i call reporting!!! Wello done Mike!!

      Daan - 2011-06-10 08:09

      Mooi gesê Mike! As die bliksems staan, dan steel hy. As hy lê, dan teel hy.

      Felix - 2011-06-10 10:06

      :) classic!

      Lioness - 2011-06-10 15:17

      I think his ancestors magically placed them there...

  • Jack - 2011-06-09 23:51

    "I can not answer the way he wants me to answer" That is why we can not understand the ANC wants us to understand. ??? Please can anybody answer so that we can understand.

      Mad Hatter - 2011-06-10 08:49

      He cannot answer truthfully and typically goes on the defensive and uses deflective techniques to avoid (and this is the big bit) rightfully and justifiably answering to parlimentary oversight questioning! Protection of information , can't wait for that politicians saftey net to be implemented.

  • tdk25 - 2011-06-09 23:59

    A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in February 2007 between the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) of Jordan and Armscor Business, acting on behalf of the South African government. Under this, Jordan will take delivery of an undisclosed quantity of ex South African Ratel (6 x 6) infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) which are now surplus to requirements. These are expected to be reconfigured by KADDB before being delivered to the Jordan Armed Forces (JAF). Under an earlier deal between South Africa and Jordan, the latter took delivery of a total of 341 Ratel IFV and variants were delivered between 2003 and 2004. Some of these were subsequently modified by KADDB before entering service with the JAF with some being fitted with a new turret armed with a twin 23 mm cannon removed from the Ukrainian supplied BTR-94 (8 x 8) armoured personnel carrier (APC). According to the United Nations Jordan has passed a total of 50 of these BTR-94 APC to Iraq.

      tdk25 - 2011-06-10 00:02

      Ross - 2011-06-10 07:01

      You know your facts - Thank you.

      Ross - 2011-06-10 07:02

      Do you know anything about the sale of our Mirage jet engines?

  • cliffarc - 2011-06-10 00:08

    - Deny, deflcet, deceit,dont know. The Anc are a bunch of liars. Classical Anc tactic to reprimand and castigate those asking for a simple answer .They're a devious bunch, who fail to give a straight answer , chosing semantics instead to hide the truth. We would probably be shocked if we knew the weapons supplied to dictatorships and tyrants.

      paulf - 2011-06-10 06:25

      @Cliffarc 99% of the time when the ANC use their famous word deny or denial they are actually meaning it is the Truth!!!

      lordwabbitspam - 2011-06-10 07:09

      The truth is probably a lot simpler (and infinitely more depressing). He doesn't know the answer to the question because he was in a blue light brigade rushing to an afternoon game of golf, someone handed him this folder with all this confusing white man's writing on it and he just signed it and handed it back. Eish I don't know becos I am never in the office. I was in New York at the time attending a very important conference with my family and friends and cousins and uncles and that cute girl down the road.

  • James - 2011-06-10 00:32

    another illustrious leader who know Jack Schitt about what is going on in his own back yard - 2011-06-10 08:17

      Ross, you should be president.....

  • blurryrabbit - 2011-06-10 02:39

    Who cares who we sold them too, as long as they paid us!

      Krolie - 2011-06-10 06:05

      Uhmm, Ze kitty or Ze pocket?

      Ross - 2011-06-10 07:00

      These Boere built Apartheid Ratels are very popular in Africa and elsewhere. How much did Jordan pay for the 341 Ratels and where is the money?

      littledragon - 2011-06-10 10:44

      Are you really that blind .... can see why you chose the name blurry rabbit cos you permanetly in a hole & everything is blurry in front of you .... They paid us sure went into Mr Z's bank account ...... And you still pay more and more taxes ..... and so it goes on !!! Wake up dude

      Worldwise - 2011-06-10 11:42

      So you don't care who we sell arms to? What if they get used against us by someone they get passed on to? You wouldn't sell someone you suspect wants to kill you a gun, would you? Eat some carrots blurry rabbit and get vision beyond the end of your nose.

  • Born To Fish - 2011-06-10 06:37

    Does he know anything? That is the real question....

  • Protest - 2011-06-10 06:56

    The ANC doesn't need the secrets law. They are using double-talk to achieve the same result and it is much more efficient.

      lordwabbitspam - 2011-06-10 07:13

      Under the secrecy law you won't even be allowed to ask the question. At least at the moment we are allowed to ask questions. I love that, in a 'democracy' we are going to need permission to ask questions about our own government. What a joke. If the bill gets passed I wonder if we will be allowed to ask if they rigged the votes in the next general election? Zuma for life anyone?

  • thabatao - 2011-06-10 07:07

    Ag man, Yemen asked their comrades for armoured vehicles. South Africa cannot sel direct, so they asked their other comrades to buy it and ship it further. What is so difficult about it. Yemen helped the ANC/PAC/SACP. Now they help Yemen. Easy peasy.

  • dsdjs - 2011-06-10 07:23


  • frans.visserdsb - 2011-06-10 07:23

    LOL - Minister, if your feet are wet, and you are staring at pointy shaped structures... you are in the longest river in Africa... De-NIAL...

  • Anton - 2011-06-10 07:33

    Come on, we all know that ,arms sales, is a dirty business. Any country that produces arms, sells directly or indirectly, to any country who has the dollars to purchase them. Its sad, but the reality.

  • daaivark - 2011-06-10 07:39

    Magic carpets, Jeff? Classic NewANC parrot-speak: "Dunno, wasn't me!"

  • daaivark - 2011-06-10 07:41

    Only goes to show the power of good marketing, eh.... Pay the rep his commission. A great anti-insurgency vehicle and made very popular worldwide by the Nat regime.

  • The Unknown - 2011-06-10 07:54

    Radebe, you brainless idiot

  • James - 2011-06-10 08:27

    I dunno nuffink!!!!

  • suspiciousme - 2011-06-10 09:03

    I am no expert on weaponry and armored vehicles and such. BUt how sure are we that it was in fact a Ratel that David Maynier saw on TV? I know a well known (notorious) SA gentleman who has been working in Yemen for the last year or so for a company called REVA Armored vehicles. See And this gentleman that I know is known for lending a helping hand all over Africa where there is strife or uprising involved…..

      pd - 2011-06-10 09:31

      had a look at the url. The Ratel has 6 wheels. Very distinct in shape. Not that many windows either. And with a turret. Did you actually read the article?

      suspiciousme - 2011-06-10 10:25

      HI pd, I did read the article, I also said that I am no expert on armored vehicles. I was sharing additional info I happened to have.Maybe it is relevant, maybe it is not. BUt thank you for the details you added, now I know how to identify a Ratel.

      littledragon - 2011-06-10 10:50

      Duh !! Clearly you don't even know what a Ratel looks like !!! But then again you probably never even fought for this country to prevent communism coming in ..... Catch a wake up dude ...they going sell the house you live in under your feet ..... and then what you gonna say .... ah ...duh ...thats not my house .... mine had no windows .....

      Worldwise - 2011-06-10 11:57

      Try google, plenty of pics around. Or you can ask any of the over 100000 white guys who had to do military service during apartheid days or go to jail. They all know what a Ratel looks like.

      daaivark - 2011-06-10 14:29

      Oh come on, suspicious. These things were an integral part of our landscape for decades. Every South African knows what they look like. Even a dedicated pacifist like myself.

      suspiciousme - 2011-06-10 15:27

      So glad I could give all you mach men the chance to let of steam AND to let us all know how MUCH you all know about Ratels and stuff. littledragon - I know what a Ratel looks like now. And I am not your "dude" try ma'am, ok? and I was probably washing and ironing one of your father's friend's army browns long before you were even born. worldwise, I was one of the MILLIONS of women who stayed at home and raised the kids daaivark, ja well, I never saw them but do know that I can tell the difference after today Have a happy macho weekend, all of you!

  • Barry - 2011-06-10 09:12

    What does He know ?

  • shamus oconner - 2011-06-10 09:18

    Why dose he not ask Paramount?

  • littledragon - 2011-06-10 10:41

    So "Mr" Z .... thats actually why you were in Libya all along ....Not to sort out their strife or talk down Gadifi ... You were just making sure the arms deals that you are doing with them are still in - order .... What else are you selling them ??

  • Carel - 2011-06-10 15:40

    If you go onto Wikipedia Mr Minister, and query "Ratel" you would be able to tell them that the Belgians manufacture perfect copies of the Ratel! I have seen several pictures of these recently, all from that same area of the Middle East! You only have to look at the turrets to know! The vehicle in the movie "Hurt Locker" is a good example (driver had the armour flaps closed)

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