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Vol 42 No 3

Published 9th February 2001

South Africa

Arms for oblivion

Who should investigate the multi-billion arms deal with Western companies?

The row over alleged corruption in the government's 43 billion rand (US$5.4 bn.) arms deal is damaging the governing African National Congress and raising questions about the constitution's rules on accountability. And as some of the Western arms companies and their agents involved in the deal have been linked to commission payments and sanctions-busting in Asia and elsewhere in Africa, suspicion is mounting that there might be something to hide. Tony Leon's opposition Democratic Alliance (AC Vol 41 No 25), which includes members and ex-ministers from the old apartheid National Party, has been attacking the ANC leadership over the issue, though those involved in the arms deal cut across party lines. Some intermediaries in the deal link into the old apartheid military establishment and Ian Smith's regime in Rhodesia.

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