29 March 2010

Stop selling military aircraft to South Africa, Anglican archbishops urge

Thabo Makgoba, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, and Desmond Tutu, his Nobel Peace Prize winning predecessor, have urged that Sweden stop selling military aircraft to South Africa.

In a move reminiscent of the days when he was vilified by the government-supporting press for proposing economic sanctions and an arms embargo against the apartheid regime, former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu signed a document asking that Swedish Gripen miliary aircraft not be sold to South Africa.

"Stop the sell of military aircrafs to South Africa" - Stockholm News:
KG Hammar, former Swedish archbishop, Karin Wiborn, chairman of the Swedish Christian Council, Desmond Tutu and Thabo Makgoba, South African archbishops have signed the article. They claim that the deal has released a wave of corruption that threatens the transition from Apartheid to democracy in South Africa.

The authors write that the cost for South Africa’s deal with several European countries to buy military equipment is around SEK 42 billion (about 4.2 billion euro). Half of that sum is spent on JAS 39 Gripen. They write that it is hard to gain acceptance in the South African society for the fact that resources are being allocated to military investments instead of fighting the legacy from the Apartheid era.

The four authors demand that the South African and Swedish governments investigate the accusations about corruption and put the whole deal on hold until the investigation is finished.

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