Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

Recent Reports 
 Support HRW 
About HRW
Site Map
Human Rights Watch - Home Page
October 2000
Vol. 12, No. 5 (A)


The current structure for controls was created in 1995 as a complement to South Africa's new arms export policy, and, as described below, it follows the model proposed by the Cameron Commission. Recognizing that its reform was not yet complete, in 1998 the government also initiated efforts to formalize its arms export regime in law. New legislation was proposed in mid-2000 that would give statutory effect to the work of the NCACC, but it did not encompass many of the government's commitments with respect to human rights and transparency. Other institutional challenges remain, especially with regard to mediating among competing views within government over the weight to be given to human rights concerns in arms export decisions. In addition, arms procurement arrangements negotiated by South Africa may risk compromising its human rights commitments.

Control Structures

In order to oversee the new arms export policies, the cabinet appointed in August 1995 an interdepartmental cabinet committee, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), to study defense industry reforms, take charge of conventional arms control mechanisms, and ensure political oversight of the industry and arms exports.40

In accordance with the Cameron Commission's recommendations, the thirteen-member committee comprises a wide range of ministers and deputy ministers, some with no direct stake in arms-related issues.41 The NCACC operates by consensus, with unresolved matters being referred to cabinet. Assuaging the concerns of human rights and arms control advocates, and signaling that the government meant business in undertaking sweeping reforms ofthe sector, the cabinet appointed as chair of the committee Kader Asmal, then minister of water affairs and forestry and since 1999 minister of education. He had been a prominent anti-apartheid figure and professor of constitutional law at Trinity College, Dublin, during more than twenty-five years of exile.

The cabinet also established a new four-level arms export control system that, operating on a case-by-case basis, eliminated the previous system of country classifications, and consists of:

C The Directorate of Conventional Arms Control (DCAC), a secretariat to the NCACC housed within the defense department and charged with the task of processing applications for arms export permits.
C A review of any proposed arms sales by pertinent government departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs.
C A scrutiny committee, consisting of the secretary for defense and the directors general of the departments of foreign affairs and trade and industry, tasked with collecting inputs from these departments and making recommendations to the NCACC.
C The NCACC, upon which rests the final decision on the merits of applications and responsibility to advise the minister of defense on the appropriate course of action to take.

Armscor's mandate was limited to meeting the acquisition needs of the SANDF through national and international procurement, and to promoting the local defense industry.42

From the industry's point of view, the process of clearing an arms export involves a three-step approach: requesting a marketing permit for goods to be sold (the first official contact between the ministry of defense, the NCACC, and the prospective manufacturer and seller), subsequently obtaining from the NCACC a contracting approval, and finally applying for an export permit.43 Julius Kriel, executive director of South African Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries, summarized this process: "Arms transactions are mostly government to government. In practice a country would put out an industry-to-industry tender which is first examined by the Non-Proliferation Council,44 and then goes to the NCACC for the various permits, or the police for commercial firearms." Continued Kriel: "If, for example, Saudi Arabia wants to buy an attack helicopter, it would specify user's requirements and ask the potential supplier for information. Denel [the government-owned manufacturer] receives this request and asks for an advance marketing permit. A request for proposals would normally follow with more details on requirements such as time of delivery and specific quotes." "For major systems," he added, "it takes about R.3 million (U.S.$490,000) and one year to complete the bidding process. We then have to ask for a contracting permit to go into contract negotiations. When the contract is actually signed, we start the manufacturing process, and in the end we apply for an export permit to the NCACC."45

Kriel maintained that the industry has grown very comfortable with the new policy guidelines, but lamented that the process is cumbersome: "This is because [the political decision makers] still do not trust the civil servants enoughto delegate responsibility. We are not sure what makes them decide. We would like to see a more integrated arms control process."46

Structural Changes and the Conventional Arms Control Bill
South Africa's post-apartheid policy orientation and institutional changes with respect to arms export controls have not yet been formalized in law, and the governing legislation remains the apartheid-era Armscor Act of 1968. A process of formulating new legislation-known as the Conventional Arms Control (CAC) Bill-began in 1998, and a bill was tabled in parliament in late July 2000.47 According to a close observer, the delay in finalizing the bill reflected a lack of urgency on the part of cabinet and may have been due to serious differences of opinion among the relevant government departments.48 More troubling, the legislation, once drafted, appeared to signal a step away from the political commitments made by the South African government. Among other problems, the proposed bill left out the code of conduct endorsed in the two white papers. Nongovernmental groups strongly objected to its provisions, and their advocacy efforts helped generate public and political opposition to the bill.49 As a result, the secretariat of the Ministry of Defence, at the request of the parliamentary defense committee, withdrew the CAC Bill in September 2000 for redrafting. A revised bill is expected to be prepared for submission in the first quarter of 2001.50

Preparation of a new CAC Bill provides the South African government an opportunity to correct several shortcomings of the current control structure, most of which were not adequately addressed in the first attempt to draft the new legislation. In addition to replacing the Armscor Act, a CAC Bill is needed to formally confer legal status on the NCACC. Currently, the NCACC acts without legally-defined powers or constraints, and it abides by guidelines that are subject to political rather than legal interpretation. The absence of a clear statutory framework to date has raised doubts among some members of civil society about the committee's decision-making process and its commitment to transparency.51 "The arms export process," observed a nongovernmental expert to Human Rights Watch, "depends too much on the individual members of the NCACC. Decisions are taken not against a check list, but in an ad hoc fashion....What is needed is a safety net with ceilings and common denominators which would account not only for the necessity of a sale, but for the wisdom of a sale. There have been cases, for example, in which the Department of Foreign Affairs advised against a particular transfer, but was overruled."52

Minister Asmal, the chair of the NCACC, rejects charges of arbitrary and ad hoc decision making. Speaking in 1999, he told Human Rights Watch: "It is true that the Armscor Act has not been repealed, but [in setting new standards] we are acting as though there was a law. Technically, the minister of defense is the decision maker. Buthe cannot make a decision without my consenting. Had we waited for a statute [to frame NCACC operations], it would have taken more than three years."53

Such a statute is also needed to give a legal framework to what are otherwise only political commitments. With this goal in mind, human rights and arms control groups have pressed the government to incorporate the code of conduct contained in the white papers into new arms control legislation, and have further advocated the inclusion of provisions to institute parliamentary oversight and enhance transparency. They also have proposed that new legislation formalize the stipulation that the NCACC be chaired by a cabinet level minister with no direct interest in the arms trade, as recommended by the Cameron Commission and endorsed in the two white papers. The proposed CAC Bill put forward in 2000 disappointed them on all counts. The nongovernmental groups argued for a revised CAC Bill to incorporate these elements.

The process of redrafting the controversial CAC Bill is also likely to revive the suggestion, contained in the white papers, for the government to house responsibility for arms export controls with a single statutory agency. Current control structures and mechanisms for conventional weapons are fragmentary and dispersed among different departments and implementing agencies, as the table below illustrates:


products controlled


responsible ministry

Armaments Development and Production Act (Act 57 of 1968)
[to be replaced by the Conventional Arms Control Bill]

Conventional arms (other than small arms and related ammunition)



Explosives Act (Act 26 of 1956)

Explosives (commercial & military applications)

SAPS (Inspectorate of Explosives)

Safety and Security

Firearms and Ammunition Act (Act 75 of 1969), Teargas Act (Act 16 of 1964)
[to be replaced by a new Firearms Control Bill 55]

Commercial arms and ammunition

SAPS (Central Firearms Register)

Safety and Security

Source: White Paper on the Defence Related Industries, chapter 6, Regulation of Armaments Production and Transfer.56

The problems of this fragmentary control structure and the need to integrate control processes and legislation are acknowledged by the government. The White Paper on the Defence Related Industries, for example, laments the disjointed nature of the current legislative and institutional framework and proposes a "synthesized and consolidated"regulatory structure.57 It also notes that firearms and ammunition sold commercially, even for export, are subject to a separate law.58

One closely involved government official commented to Human Rights Watch that the problems with the fragmented control structure are compounded by a lack of capacity for implementing policies and enforcing them. "Enforcement is a big problem for us," he admitted, adding: "A step in the right direction would be bringing Customs into the equation since they are not part of the arms export process and have no representation in the NCACC."59 The same official endorsed the idea that only one agency should be responsible for controls on conventional weapons, dual use goods, ammunition, and conventional weapons that are transacted commercially. He added that this agency should also provide oversight of paramilitary and mercenary activities. At a minimum, the official concluded, the integration and standardization of arms export control procedures would help in both verification and enforcement, and provide the rationale for assembling a database of conventional weapons, dual use goods, and military training. Nevertheless, centralization of control over the conventional arms trade was not a feature of the CAC Bill presented in July.

Other structural matters also remain to be addressed through the legislative process. The redrafted CAC Bill, for example, is anticipated to propose the establishment of an independent inspectorate. The withdrawn text of the bill called for the creation of such an inspectorate, but with a limited mandate. It did not address the recommendation, included in the white papers, that the inspectorate monitor adherence to the principles, guidelines, and policy of the NCACC, and report regularly to parliament.

Joint Licensing and Co-Production Agreements
An additional area that raises human rights concerns involves joint licensing and co-production arrangements between South African companies and foreign partners who may not be interested in the human rights record of prospective customers. According to Terry Crawford-Browne, an economist and a representative of the South African Coalition for Defence Alternatives, the hidden dangers for human rights represented by such arrangements became apparent in 1995 with a British proposal for a R.500 million (U.S.$137.8 million) partnership between GEC, a privately-held British company, and South Africa's state-owned Kentron. Some provisions of this proposal, Crawford-Browne said, suggested that GEC could have co-opted South Africa into "manufacturing weapons under licence for export to politically sensitive regions such as the Middle East and the Far East." Crawford-Browne stated further that GEC "has a long record of supplying weapons to non-democratic countries that violate human rights."60

Joint production or co-licensing deals can arise in connection with so-called countertrade deals, also known as offsets, arranged with government approval.61 Countertrade is "the means by which the costs to the recipient of purchasing defense goods are `offset' by other deals agreed with the supplier."62 Llewellyn Swann of Armscorexplained how countertrade works in South Africa: "For example, if we purchase R.10 million (U.S.$1.6 million) worth of equipment, we ask for no less than fifty percent in countertrade investments, which are equally apportioned to the military and the commercial areas. We have identified twenty-two targeted areas which include steel mills and aerospace."63 Since 1995, such ventures have become more and more eagerly sought after by South Africa, whose arms industry, despite successive export drives, continues to be in deficit. In the financial year 1999, Denel, the preeminent South African armaments manufacturer, reported a R.206 million (U.S.$33.7 million) loss.64 Armscor calculated that the total portfolio of counter-trade in 1997/98 consisted of some seventeen signed contracts with countertrade commitments for R.3.7 billion (U.S.$637.4 million) in investments.65

Human Rights Watch does not object in principle to national efforts to secure offsets when purchasing weapons. It is concerned, however, that such agreements, when they include provisions for joint licensing and co-production of weapons with foreign partners, could compromise South Africa's human rights commitments if adequate precautions are not taken. In December 1999, South Africa signed deals to buy R.30 billion (U.S.$4.9 billion) worth of ships, submarines, and aircraft from European arms producers. Observers agree that this military modernization drive will not free up excess weapons from South Africa's arsenal for export. They point out, however, that South Africa's procurement agreements include a commitment by international arms suppliers to generate R.100 billion ($16.3 billion) in countertrade exports and local sales for South African industry, a sizable portion of which will be invested in the defense industry. Critics have observed that the government may therefore be pressured to be more lenient in approving weapons sales. This is because international companies may reasonably expect South Africa to help sell their products if they invest in local weapons manufacturing.66

Defense industry representatives agree that, in terms of policy, unresolved problems would remain if foreign partners in joint ventures with South Africa companies decided to sell to customers whom South Africa might find unsavory.67

Conflicting Government Signals
Despite South Africa's efforts to design an arms export policy that is strongly committed to human rights, there are differing views within government regarding how to weigh human rights considerations against calculations based on geopolitical alliances, economic advantage, and other factors. An ongoing private debate is taking place within the ANC regarding this issue. Some officials feel the government should promote arms exports as a way to strengthen the economy, win new allies, and repay debts to old allies who supported the ANC during the armed struggle against the apartheid regime. Others argue instead that it should restrain such exports, especially within Africa, to avoid fueling conflict and to establish South Africa as the standard-bearer of human rights and a credible player in diplomatic efforts to resolve crises.68

Reflecting this debate, government officials at times have promoted defense cooperation in Africa without acknowledging the need to ensure that South Africa does not contradict the formal commitments contained in its official policy on arms sales by partnering with governments that abuse human rights or are engaged in armed conflict. Joe Modise, defense minister in the Mandela cabinet, reportedly asserted at an international seminar on defense equipment as early as November 1994 that Armscor was one of the key factors for peace in South Africa and the rest of the continent. According to press reports, he went on to urge African countries to make use of Armscor expertise in order to ensure better value for money spent on equipment. Modise, who had been a commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC in the resistance years, also advocated joint efforts for the refurbishment of military hardware and for a continent-wide "viable defense industry."69 Ronnie Kasrils, then deputy defense minister, offered a rationale for this stance on cooperation and trade with African partners when he stated: "Our defense industry has to come to terms with a reduced market and can no longer rely on large and regular contracts with the home government. In practice, it means that our defense sector has to transform itself to meet these demands, and the challenge is to change without losing capacity."70

Moreover, official government policy has not always seemed to guide South Africa's arms trade relations in practice, as detailed below. Justifying South Africa's relationships with questionable partners, Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad wrote in an article for the Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg): "The fact that South Africa enters into trade with nations with perceivably poor human rights records, does not mean that human rights considerations are not an integral part of South Africa's foreign policy. We would find very few nations to trade with if an unblemished human rights record were the sole criterion."71 Similarly, in an interview with Human Rights Watch, Kader Asmal, chair of the NCACC, observed that "all principles have to be interpreted and interpretation depends on considerations of future relationships between countries."72

When it comes to human rights determinants, the government maintains that in-house reviews are conducted thoroughly and professionally. An official with the Department of Foreign Affairs described the review process involved in arms transfers: "The human rights section in the ministry receives all applications for exports. They have to respond within five working days. However, since arms exports are not dealt with as a matter of urgency, they have more time to come up with a country profile."73

Some observers worry that the foreign ministry does not have the capacity to prepare accurate human rights profiles and contribute effectively to case-by-case reviews of proposed arms deals. As James Selfe, spokesman for defense of the Democratic Party-the liberal former opponent of the National Party when the latter was in government-commented: "Export controls have become a smokescreen in which no fact is weighed against the other. Are we asking ourselves what information are we using [in determining the rationale for a sale], are our country analyses accurate? I seriously doubt it since lots of officials in the ministry of foreign affairs do not understand what humanitarian law is all about."74

Selfe and fellow parliamentarian Patricia de Lille of the Pan African Congress, the former partner and rival of the ANC as a liberation movement, pointed out that the government would be hard pressed to explain sales to countries such as Angola, Colombia, and China, to name a few, on the basis of its arms trade principles.75 On the other hand, Boy Geldenhuys, then the foreign affairs spokesman for the National Party, the party that created Armscor and its secretive culture, declared in an interview with Human Rights Watch that, in principle at least, "the policies on exports are too strict." In practice, they raised fewer concerns for his party and the defense industry it promoted. Citing controversial arms sales to Rwanda, Turkey, and Algeria that went ahead under the current policy guidelines, Geldenhuys indicated: "All in all, I can live with this arms export policy."76 In July 2000, the Democratic Party merged with the National Party to become the Democratic Alliance, the largest opposition party to the ANC. It remains to be seen how the perspectives of the two political parties regarding arms control issues will coalesce.

Alan Sharpe, chief director of the human rights section of the Department of Foreign Affairs, conceded that there is a trend to separate human rights from trade in general. This position was spelled out in December 1999 by Jacob (Jackie) Selebi, then head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, who stated that South Africa would be able to articulate respect for human rights to other governments only if these rights were separated from the question of trade.77 Sharpe elaborated this rationale further by stating that: "Human rights are a cornerstone of our foreign policy, but we are not going to be the policeman of the world."78

Parliamentarians and members of civil society have pointed out that a lack of consultation with groups outside the executive branch of government undercuts efforts to ensure that human rights information is given the weight it deserves in individual decisions to supply weapons. Barney Pityana, for example, head of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), a constitutionally established body, complained that the government hardly consults his commission, despite its responsibilities to ensure compliance with human rights standards. "Our job is to see whether policies are consistent with the constitution," he stated, "but the government often fails to see how we can contribute to the debate. No input from us has ever been requested by the NCACC. This has not prevented us from challenging policies, as we did with regard to the arms deal with Rwanda."79 The SAHRC undertook an internal process of discussion as to its role in relation to government policy on arms sales and foreign affairs. This discussion has not, however, resulted in any consistent effort to comment on the human rights implications of specific transfers.

South African officials insist that human rights remain a key consideration in drawing a list of customers for South African weapons, but that they constitute only one ingredient of policy decisions. Other factors they consider, for example, are regional stability and the regional balance of power.80 Such considerations, however, may be at odds with human rights concerns. When this is the case, Human Rights Watch holds that they should not be used to justifyweapons sales that seriously endanger human rights. Military support to armed forces that have a record of committing serious human rights abuses and violating international humanitarian law inevitably furnishes such groups with the tools with which to continue abusive practices and, importantly, suggests outside support for their behavior, thus helping to foster a dangerous culture of impunity.

Moreover, it is worth noting that South Africa's arms export control policy nowhere states that arms will be sold in order to achieve regional stability or balance of power. To the contrary, the code of conduct contained in the government's white papers includes the converse provision, that South Africa will avoid arms transfers when they are likely to contribute to the escalation of regional conflicts, endanger peace by introducing destabilizing military capabilities into a region, or otherwise contribute to regional instability and negatively influence the balance of power. Despite this provision and a commitment to consider the internal security situation in the recipient country when weighing an arms export decision, South Africa has furnished weapons to a number of countries that are involved in regional disputes or armed conflicts, as well as civil wars.

The appointment of a new defense team in 1999 may give human rights renewed prominence in the arms trade equation. President Thabo Mbeki named as defense minister Mosiuoa Patrick "Terror" Lekota, a product of the internal United Democratic Front (UDF) rather than of MK, the ANC's military wing, and Nosizwe Madlala Routledge, a pacifist by conviction, was made deputy minister. Local human rights proponents were hopeful that this team would further develop and implement South Africa's arms trade policy in keeping with the country's commitment not to permit its weapons sales to undermine abroad human rights it now respects at home. Minister Lekota's efforts to promote the sale of South African weapons to China, announced in June 2000, have dampened such expectations (see below).

40 White Paper on Defence, chapter 8, paras. 1 and 9, See also, Directorate of Conventional Arms Control,

41 The NCACC includes the ministers of defense (and deputy), trade and industry, arts, culture, science and technology, constitutional affairs, public enterprises, foreign affairs (and deputy), and safety and security (and deputy), as well as the deputy minister of intelligence services.

42 Armscor, Annual Report 1997/1998, p. 5. In terms of sales, Armscor retained the function of selling surplus stocks from which the corporation takes a 2.5% commission. In 1998, the sale of surplus equipment amounted to R.25 million (U.S.$4.5 million). Human Rights Watch interview with Llewellyn Swann, Armscor's executive director, Pretoria, February 9, 1999.

43 The Armscor Act provided a specification of required arms trade permits. Three additional areas and pertinent permits are covered by the law. These are: development and manufacturing permits, import permits, and transit permits. All are issued by the minister of defense, and the latter permit is required to ensure that "[n]o weapons in transit to other countries may be shipped across South African territory without the authority of and in accordance with the conditions stated in a permit issued by the Minister of Defence." "Guide to the Terms of Reference," pp. 13-21.

44 This is the body responsible for handling issues relating to weapons of mass destruction.

45 Human Rights Watch interview, Johannesburg, February 10, 1999.

46 Human Rights Watch interview, Pretoria, January 29, 1999.

47 "Conventional Arms Control Bill," submitted to parliament on July 28, 2000, available at bills/2000/b50-00.pdf.

48 Human Rights Watch email communication with Laurie Nathan, May 8, 2000.

49 "Editorial: Arms and the Ministry," Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), September 1, 2000; Ivor Powell, "New Arms Control Bills Give State Carte Blanche," Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), September 1, 2000; "Weapons Bill Under Fire," SAPA, September 7, 2000; Wyndham Hartley, "Arms Bill `Violates Transparency Policy,'" Business Day (South Africa), September 13, 2000; South African Council of Churches, "Public Policy Update: Disastrous Arms Control Bill Omits Human Rights Criteria," September 15, 2000, at Laurie Nathan and Terry Crawford-Browne were among the nongovernmental arms control advocates who submitted memoranda that sharply criticized the draft legislation to the parliamentary defense committee, which met in closed session in September 2000 to consider the bill. Laurie Nathan, "Memorandum on Arms Exports and the Conventional Arms Control Bill: Submission to the Parliamentary Defence Committee," September 6, 2000; Terry Crawford-Browne, "Comment on the Conventional Arms Control Bill," September 5, 2000.

50 Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, "Press Release: Conventional Arms Control Bill," September 19, 2000. The parliamentary defense committee announced that it expected a new draft bill to be ready by February 2001.

51 Human Rights Watch interviews with nongovernmental organization representatives, journalists, and government officials, Johanessburg, January 27-30, 1999, and Cape Town, February 3 and 4, 1999.

52 Human Rights Watch interview with Virginia Gamba, Institute for Security Studies, Halfway House, January, 26, 1999.

53 Human Rights Watch interview, Cape Town, February 3, 1999.

55 This bill, introduced to parliament on May 19, 2000, and awaiting passage as of September, regulates the supply, ownership, transfer, and use of firearms. The text of the bill is available at

56 Available at The table has been edited by Human Rights Watch to exclude information about weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, and nuclear materials and technology.

57 White Paper on the South African Defence Related Industries, chapter 6, defence/defenceprocure6.html

58 As stated in the White Paper on Defence Related Industries, "The NCACC has no jurisdiction over domestic transfers of commercial weapons, though an understanding exists between the Minister of Safety and Security and the chairperson of the NCACC that no commercial weapons will be given an export permit without being reviewed by the NCACC." The Firearms Control Bill, referenced in the table above, no longer includes a provision contained in a 1999 draft that would have formalized this arrangement by requiring NCACC approval for export permits issued under the Firearms Control Act.

59 Human Rights Watch interview with a government official, Pretoria, February 8, 1999.

60 Terry Crawford-Browne's submission to the Cameron Commission, November 22, 1994, and Human Rights Watch interview with Terry Crawford-Browne, Cape Town, February 4, 1999.

61 The term "countertrade" was widely used in the mid-1990s in South Africa to describe what were essentially barter transactions at the time. More recently, as arms deals increasingly came to include arrangements other than a direct exchange of goods, the more general term "offsets" has been applied. The two terms are now sometimes used interchangeably.

62 Bernard Udis and Keith E. Maskus, "Offsets as Industrial Policy: Lessons from Aerospace," Defence and Peace Economics, vol. 2, p.151.

63 Human Rights Watch interview, Pretoria, February 9, 1999.

64 The previous year, the company reported a net loss of R.745 million (U.S.$135.6 million). Leon Engelbrecht, "Denel digging its way out of hole," Defense Systems Daily, September 28, 2000.

65 Armscor, Annual Report 1997/98, p. 48.

66 In general South Africa is expected to dedicate one-third of the value of offsets to investments in the defense industry, with the remaining two-thirds to be invested in civilian industries. Details of offset arrangements are not made public, however, so it is difficult to establish their actual value and distribution. Human Rights Watch e-mail communication with Terry Crawford-Browne, September 29 and October 7, 2000. Anthony Stoppard, "Disarmament-South Africa: Stained Arms Record Hard to Shake," InterPress Service, December 20, 1999. Human Rights Watch interviews with Terry Crawford-Browne and Patricia De Lille, Cape Town, November 18 and 19, 1999. This massive acquisition program has already sparked the undesirable side effect of suspected corruption. In November 1999, in connection with a wider investigation, Patricia de Lille delivered a voluminous package of documents with regard to the awarding of tenders to foreign companies involved in the procurement drive to a commission appointed to investigate allegations of major government corruption. The commission acknowledged the sensitivity of these documents. "Heath to Quiz People About Arms Corruption Claims," South African Press Association (SAPA), January 11, 2000. In July 2000, a parliamentary committee asserted that it had found no evidence of impropriety in the weapons acquisition process, but the defense minister cautioned that an investigation by the Auditor-General's office was not yet complete. SAPA, July 4, 2000. In September 2000, the Auditor-General announced that he was seeking a special investigation into seeming irregularities in the procurement process. "S.African auditor general to delve into arms deal," Reuters, September 20, 2000. Other investigations, including one by South Africa's Public Prosecutor, were also underway. SAPA, September 29, 2000. For a discussion of corruption allegations surrounding offset deals, see Terry Crawford-Browne, "South Africa's R30 billion Weapons Procurement Programme: OFFSETS, an invitation to corruption in a country desperate for socio-economic development (May 26, 2000)," unpublished paper.

67 Human Rights Watch interview with Julius Kriel, Executive Director of South Africa Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries, Pretoria, January 29, 1999.

68 John MacLennan, "Hawkish Modise Bypasses Conscience on Arms Sales," Saturday Argus (Cape Town), October 25/26, 1997. Human Rights Watch interviews with nongovernmental organization representatives, Halfway House, January 26, and February 3 and 4, 1999.

69 Accadoga Chiledi, "South Africa Politics: New Role for the Arms Industry," InterPress Service, November 22, 1994. He repeated these themes at subsequent defense industry exhibitions; see, for example, Stephané Bothma, "Modise highlights benefits of SA defence industry," Business Day (Johannesburg), November 14, 1996.

70 Deputy Minister's Keynote Address to the South African Defense Industry Conference, VW Conference Centre, Midrand, March 27, 1998.

71 Aziz Pahad, "We don't trade off human rights," Mail and Guardian (Johannesburg), April 25 to May 1, 1997.

72 Human Rights Watch interview, Cape Town, February 3, 1999.

73 Human Rights Watch interview, Pretoria, January 28, 1999.

74 Human Rights Watch interview, Cape Town, February 2, 1999.

75 Human Rights Watch interviews, Cape Town, November 18 and 19, 1999.

76 Human Rights Watch interview with Boy Geldenhuys, Pretoria, January 28, 1999.

77 Interview with Jackie Selebi in Global Dialogue, vol.3, no.3, (Johannesburg, Institute for Global Dialogue, December 1998).

78 Human Rights Watch interview, Pretoria, February 8, 1999.

79 Human Rights Watch interview, Johannesburg, January 27, 1999.

80 Human Rights Watch interviews with foreign ministry officials, January 28, 1999, with
defense ministry officials, Pretoria, February 8, 1999, and with Kader Asmal, Cape Town, February 3, 1999.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page