While the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) is yet to reply questions on the controversial Gupta armored vehicle, report reaching BuzzSouthAfrica has it that the controversial armored vehicle discovered at the Gupta’s Saxonwold residence was removed at the late hours of Monday.
The Democratic Alliance reported the removal of the Gupta armored vehicle parked inside the family’s Saxonwold compound last week. The vehicle was last night removed using a flatbed truck.
It was earlier reported that the controversial family acquired the military vehicle after a group of South Africans protested outside the Indians Saxonwold estate.
Having witnessed how difficult it was for the state’s police service to wade off the protesters from its abode, the family chose to obtain an armored military vehicle that would help them escape if the need arises.
In reaction to this, the DA indicated that it will write to the Chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Minister Jeff Radebe, to seek confirmation on whether or not the Gupta family have permission to own the armored vehicle.
“The Gupta family lawyer, Gert van der Merwe, has confirmed that the armored vehicle does indeed belong to the Guptas and it is being used for ‘safety purposes’.
“It is illegal for ordinary citizens to own military technology and it is therefore deeply concerning that this armored vehicle is currently stationed at a private residence,” DA stated.
Receiving information about the removal of the vehicle at the late hours of Monday, the party also said it will write to the Chairperson of the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), Minister Jeff Radebe, to establish if it was the government or a private company that removed the Gupta armoured vehicle, and if it was a private company, to know where the vehicle has been moved to.
“The DA has already requested clarity from Minister Radebe on whether the Gupta’s have permission to own the armored military vehicle as it is deeply concerning that such technology is stationed at a private residence.
“Should the Minister confirm that the Gupta’s did not have permission, they must be held accountable and the Minister must make clear what action will be taken.” said DA’s Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kobus Marais MP.
Meanwhile, City press reported the NCACC chairperson Redebe confirming that it was illegal for the Gupta family to own an armored vehicle as sophisticated as the one spotted at the family’s estate.
According to the report, contravention of the National Conventional Arms Control Act can lead to a jail term of up 25 years following the NCACC act which prohibits the use of military equipment.
Radebe reportedly confirmed that nobody may own a vehicle intended for military use unless it had been demilitarized.
The arms control committee has the following regulations for the ownership of armored personnel carriers (APC):
• The owner shall at all times possess a valid Armaments Development and Manufacturing (ADM) permit;
• The vehicle will only be used for the purpose stated in the undertaking given at the time when the vehicle was purchased;
• The owner or operator of an APC vehicle acquired for Cash-in-Transit purposes shall be registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (SIRA);
• The vehicle will be marked so that the colours and markings will not be confused with that of the SANDF or any other government department;
• The vehicle will not be used for purposes of endangering the security of the State, the violation of human rights, resolving labour disputes, quelling unrest or committing any unlawful act;
• The owner shall take appropriate measures to prevent theft of the vehicle; and
• The owner shall not sell or lease the vehicle without NCACC approval.