The entrance to Parliament in Cape Town. Photo: Michael Walker

Cape Town - The National Conventional Arms Control Committee's (NCACC) Inspectorate has probed nearly 50 cases in the past six years, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe revealed on Tuesday.

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question, Radebe, who chairs the NCACC, detailed 48 cases referred to it since 2009.

Only two convictions had been secured, but took the form of plea agreements. One was in 2009.

“Controlled items were exported without NCACC authorisation. Imperial Armour (Pty) Ltd pleaded guilty and was fined R100 000 during 2012,” Radebe said.

The other case was reported in 2010.

“(A) vehicle (was) sold without NCACC authorisation. (The) matter (was) referred to the SAPS (SA Police Service) during August 2010. (The) company pleaded guilty and was fined R60 000 during 2011,” Radebe said.

The police were still investigating 29 matters.

The National Prosecuting Authority had declined to prosecute 16 of the cases, including cases where arms consignments from overseas were confiscated because foreign companies had misrepresented the contents of the shipments, and because items had been exported using expired permits.

The questions were posed by Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

In a statement, Maynier said Radebe should explain why so few companies were convicted of infringements.

“The preamble to the legislation regulating conventional arms sales states that we are a responsible member of the international community and will not trade in conventional arms with states engaged in repression, aggression or terrorism,” Maynier said.

“We cannot therefore afford to be soft on companies that fail to comply with the law regulating conventional arms sales in South Africa.”