National Conventional Arms Control Committee adamant SA does not trade arms with Israel

17 Nov 2023
In response to the commotion stirred by Palestinian groups that form part of the international effort to stop arming Israel, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) has made it clear that it has not approved nor authorised any arms sales to Israel.

This after pro-Palestinian groups accused global aerospace and technology company Paramount Group of selling armoured vehicles to Israel Defense Forces military contractors to improve their lethal capacities. The company has denied this claim. 

The head secretariat of the NCACC, Advocate Ezra Jele, told City Press:

South Africa has been a signatory to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty since 2014 and is committed to the rule of law, both in the international and domestic spheres.

The NCACC is a committee that companies must go through to get export approval for any arms sale. The committee is obligated by law to avoid granting arms export permits to weapons that will be used to escalate conflicts or to governments that insist on human rights violations. 

Jele added that if the transfer of arms would happen, the companies would be obligated to go through an export process of approval for arms sale as per section 15 of the NCACC Act.  

He explained: "Applications for countries that are in conflict will not meet the criteria of the act since this is proscribed and, therefore, would not be eligible to be considered by the cabinet committee. Further to that, the NCACC abides strictly by the amended National Arms Control Act (Act 41 of 2002 and the regulation and control lists from the Framework of Arms Prevention Control."

Jele further urged that any party or entity that made such claims about South Africa having approved the sales of arms to Israel should share the information with NCACC as this would enable the verification of such claims.