- A South Africa ammunition firm, New Generation Ammunition (NGA), says police have illegally confiscated eight metric tons of ammunition purchased by the United Nations for VIP-protection, saying this could endanger the lives of senior representatives of the world body.
According to court papers filed by NGA the UN ordered the ammunition in May last year for VIP security details in Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. “The world body also arranged for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to airlift the ammunition to a UN depot in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” court papers said.
NGA chief executive Richard Potgieter said the UN had already paid 50 percent of the purchase price upfront and was set to pay the rest on delivery. “Two UN officials inspected and accepted the 9mm and 12-bore shotgun ammunition at NGA's Pretoria plant on 13 November thereby taking ownership,” he said.
The company and the UN then confirmed delivery of the 8.1mt of ammunition to the air force for transport on the afternoon of 5 January. The ammunition was then to be loaded onto the aircraft and flown to the DRC the next morning.
In the court papers Mr Potgieter said the ammunition was duly taken from its facility to that of Denel Aviation, next to OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, from where the SAAF aircraft would depart.
“I was also told that I was allegedly smuggling ammunition to Senegal,” Mr Potgieter continues in the affidavit. “My file contained documentation for a separate contract we have to supply a dealer in Senegal and that ammunition was due to leave South Africa that coming week only.
The company has since filed a petition demanding the police to furnish them with the documentation that led to the confiscation of the ammunition.
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