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04 Aug 2008 17:33
Fancy your own Boeing 707? The Defence Department has a couple to spare, no doubt going cheap.
Perhaps you’d like 17 demilitarised but now outdated Alouette helicopters? Or even 12 Cheetah fighter planes? There are also seven extra Cheetah engines around needing homes.
Five mark-one Impala jet trainers are up for grabs, or would a Daphne-class submarine suit you, sir? It was old when the apartheid government bought it from France, so now it is positively venerable.
Lekota unveiled his “for sale” list on Monday in a written answer to a parliamentary question from Rafik Syed-ali Shah, the Democratic Alliance defence spokesperson.
He also said that there is no specific potential customer yet for the Boeings, and a price is yet to be negotiated. For the Cheetahs (which are upgraded Mirage FI fighters), however, the French are interested and so are Peru, Chile and Venezuela.
An international open tender is planned for the helicopters, and the Impala have caught the eye of Aerosud, which—despite its French-sounding name—is a South African company. It wants to use them for training purposes in Africa. The price again is still to be negotiated.
If you want guns, you’ll be out of luck. The department won’t sell any. They have to be—as the minister put it—“destructed”. But the ammunition is fine (unless it is small calibre, which is also “destructed”).
Above-20mm ammo is available to the local industry for rework and resale. Above 90mm, and the French want in on the act. They might have to vie with Denel’s Naschem, which is also expressing interest.
Naschem is also thinking about acquiring some aircraft bombs, so beware of crossing them.
Army trucks, jeeps or cars vehicles are also available, but no details are given in Lekota’s answer. Just “various vehicles”.—I-Net Bridge
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