SANDF rejects arms 'smuggling' report

SANDF rejects arms 'smuggling' report.
SANDF rejects arms 'smuggling' report.
Image: Getty Images

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on Wednesday rejected reports that it had tried to smuggle small arms and ammunition to Cuba aboard a chartered SAA aircraft.

Rapport newspaper said at the weekend that an SAA aircraft‚ chartered by the SANDF to transport Cuban technicians‚ had been stopped at Waterkloof air force base after customs officials found R4 and R5 rifles with ammunition aboard.

SAA regulations do not permit the transportation of “munitions of war” and the aircraft was prevented from leaving.

The SANDF said in a statement from Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi: “We reject with contempt the allegations that the SA National Defence Force was trying to smuggle small arms and munitions to Cuba.

“The equipment in question was heavy vehicle simulators for training purposes [which] were cleared by customs and Armscor following due process. The SANDF would like to state that there were no small arms or munitions that formed part of the consignment as reported.”

The SANDF said the equipment was earmarked for training SANDF members in the technical aspects of simulator development‚ maintenance and repairs as part of a bilateral agreement with the Cuban Armed Forces.

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