Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Armscor Report
I suppose that asking apartheid behemoth Armscor to suddenly change its spots was just simply too much to ask. The Business Day reported yesterday on a confidential report detailing how Armscor flooded the private US arms market with hundreds of millions of rounds of surplus small arms ammunition between 1997 and 2005, in direct conflict with government policy.

With SA supposedly being a leader in the crackdown of small arms proliferation in Africa and the world, this is a real stab in the back from Armscor. The forensic report was initially called for by defence secretary January Masilela, who had heard rumblings about 'irregularities' within Armscor, and it turns out that the ammunition sales were not the only dodgy deals they were into. Armscor has been going through a very rough time of late, and with the recent loss of the Rooivalk deal with Turkey, this is just the latest in a series of embarrassing defeats and blunders by the arms manufacturer.