Johannesburg - The National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) says there was no violation of its laws and regulations in the insurgent fights happening in Cabo Delgado province, in northern parts of Mozambique.
Appearing before the joint standing committee on defence, head of the NCACC secretariat, advocate Ezra Jele, said this week that nothing could be proved on the violations made in numerous newspaper reports.
“Contrary to what was reported that South African entities that are registered under the Act actually violated this, we don't actually have anything other than the allegations that a company, Dyck Advisory Group (DAG), are the ones that were contracted by the government of Mozambique to work there,” Jele said.
Earlier this year, one of the lobby groups called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to investigate whether the NCACC authorised any South African company to operate in Mozambique in terms of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act.
There were also reports that Amnesty International accused DAG of “indiscriminate shootings” while pursuing insurgents during an attack by Islamic State-linked insurgents in the town of Palma.
Jele said they had not received anything from the intelligence agencies.
“If this would be true, it would signify serious violation of end-user undertaking where a state party receives material, but gives it to third parties or non-state actors,” he said.
Explaining the criteria when an application and approval of transfer of arms, Jele said they had to look, among other things, the risk of diversion where the transfer was essentially between governments and exclude non-state actors.
“In instances where there is, therefore, an indication that can be proven where a state actor accepts South Africa authorises and transfers to them, but they give to non-state actors within their control, that will be a clear and serious violation of the Act,” he said.
Referring specifically to the situation in Mozambique, he said they have nothing to prove that other than the allegations made.
“We do monitor that and expect our intelligence agencies to provide information indicating anything that is concerning in that regard.”
DA MP Kobus Marais asked about the approval of the exportation of two attack helicopters to Mozambique between January and March.
“Were the two helicopters to (a private military company) Paramount or other private companies or to the government?” Marais said.
Jele confirmed that the helicopters were authorised to Mozambique.
“Transfers that are authorised by the NCACC are on behalf of the country or a government. They are sovereign transfers. They are from one government to the other.”
Jele also said they did not envisage that when such transfers occurred that the recipient country would upon receiving equipment and let it be used by a non-state actor.
He stated that there was nothing that came forth to prove that in Mozambique, hence there has been no means to begin.
“Where you say to your counterpart at collegial level – country to country – ‘we are concerned by what we have, which is verified that this is essentially what you have done, which is in violation of spirit and letter’.
“It is important, committee, when that happens, it must be done on grounded facts.
“South Africa can not do that and embarrass itself when they go and accuse another country who is supposed to be friendly to us and who is supposed to be our trading partner and even an ally by having unsubstantiated claims,” Jele said.