UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER LEKOTA ADMITS HAVING MONIES FROM DRC REBELS: ARMS PURCHASES

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY BANTU HOLOMISA
UDM PRESIDENT

The UDM has noted with interest the Minister of Defence's admission that they have had arms transactions with "belligerents" in the DRC conflict when he disclosed in parliament on Friday 7th April 2000 that his department was in possession of money from the rebels intended for the purchase of arms.

This is a blatant admission of the Security department's partisan involvement in the DRC Conflict after flat arrogant denials when these disclosures where made by the leader of UDM Bantu Holomisa in Parliament and at a press conference early this year.

The question that arises is why in the first place the government entered into such a dangerous transaction when they knew that the arms so purchased would be used to forment the conflict, Secondly why they are keeping the money if they do not intend, as they claim, supplying the requisitioned armoury.

Mr Lekota and his ilk should not be surprised, as he appears to be, that the image of the government of South Africa is dented in the DRC and internationally in the light of his own admission. There can be no doubt that a peace-keeping force from South Africa would be viewed as an army of occupation by DRC Citizens who have been at the receiving end of South African artillery already positioned in their Country.

We strongly urge SADC member states, the OAU and the UN Security Council to prevail on the South African government to return the money in their possession to its sources to ensure that the DRC war is brought to an end by reducing the belligerents capacity to wage war.

The "African Renaissance" will remain a pipe dream as long as its champions continue to pursue aggressive interventionist adventures beyond our borders and in doing so projecting South Africa as a latter-day policeman in the Continent. The "African Renaissance" we believe is for the living, not for the dead! It seems South Africa needs lessons on the conduct of her moral duties beyond our borders. In the light of this admission it would be statesman-like for the government to apologise to the government and people of the DRC for these transgressions and an apology is also due to the South Africans for their misrepresentation.

Enquiries:  Bantu Holomisa
President: United Democratic Movement
082-552-4156

Cape Town
11 April 2000

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