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SANDF: Nothing irregular in attempt to ship arms to Cuba

Referring to a recent report of an averted coup, General Solly Shoke said the SANDF’s allegiance is to the Constitution and the republic.

FILE: South African National Defence Force chief Solly Shoke. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says there was nothing irregular or untoward with attempts to ship small arms and vehicle simulators to Cuba, clarifying the cargo was delivered as training material for South African troops who are studying in that country.

General Solly Shoke called a briefing in Centurion on Tuesday to address concerns raised in recent media articles.

Over the weekend, _Rapport _claimed the Defence Force attempted to smuggle weapons aboard a chartered flight but was stopped by South African Airways because of a policy which prohibits arms onboard civilian flights.

Shoke says the equipment was destined for use by South African troops being trained in Cuba.

“We were training our own people... actually, these things [equipment] were not being exported. People were taking equipment, that is our equipment, which, in fact, no longer in use.”

He says they rely on the Cubans to help with training because of budgetary constraints.

“We’re in a survival mode. We cannot, in fact, afford to get every single industry to do certain things for us, we've got to do it ourselves.”

Referring to a recent report of an averted coup, Shoke said the SANDF’s allegiance is to the Constitution and the republic.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)