Tragic results of arms deal folly
THE fiasco of our troops, under attack and semi-stranded in the Central African Republic, leaves me sad and concerned for them, but embarrassed and angry for our country.
Most ordinary South Africans know that the Gripen jets and the submarines bought in the arms deal were fancy boys’ toys of no particular value to our defensive needs and circumstances. Did we need them to drive off possible attack by the Zimbabwe navy or air strikes from Lesotho?
Rather, our defence force needs boots, reliable weapons, ammunition, organisation and logistics, armoured vehicles, troop carriers, attack and transport helicopters and transport aeroplanes, and roughly in that order of priority.
All the above could have been paid for several times over with the money wasted on the boy-toy ego trip and the personal enrichment that clearly drove the arms deal. More and more we reap the tragic consequences of the arms deal folly. W. NEL Ballito