SANDF chief to address arms smuggling, coup reports

It was reported two weeks ago that attempts were made by the SANDF to smuggle arms and ammunition aboard a chartered SAA aircraft bound for Cuba.

FILE: South African Defence Force General Solly Shoke. Picture: Supplied

PRETORIA – South African National Defence Force (SANDF) chief Solly Shoke will host an urgent briefing on Tuesday to address concerns raised in several media reports including claims arms were being smuggled to Cuba on a South African Airways (SAA) chartered flight, and a coup was recently averted.

It was reported two weeks ago that attempts were made by the defence force to smuggle arms and ammunition aboard a chartered SAA aircraft bound for Cuba.

Reports also emerged claiming that defence headquarters narrowly averted a coup when former President Jacob Zuma was asked to step down.

The claims in the reports have been denied.

The SANDF has rejected reports that it attempted to smuggle small arms to Cuba, saying the equipment on board their flight were heavy vehicle simulators for training purposes and had been cleared by customs and Armscor.

The South African Revenue Services also commented on the report, saying that no arms or ammunition was found aboard their aircraft.

SAA further clarified that in terms of its policy, it does not permit the carriage of any items deemed munitions of war.

Shoke says he’s called the press conference to address these reports and others related to an averted coup.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)