Defence Dept secretive about Apartheid contracts


Picture: @SANDF_ZA / Twitter

A ten-year-old legal battle to get access to apartheid records held by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans is back in the North Gauteng High Court.

The department is refusing to release at least 95 documents despite the South African History Archive (SAHA) Trust  obtaining a court order in January last year.

The department responded with a rescission application and during this period the independent archive group was dissolved.

It meant that it could not oppose the application.

But the SAHA trust notified the department that lobby group Open Secrets, a long-time partner in the case will be its substitute.

But the department has argued that this will prejudice it.

Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) who has taken up the matter believes the documents will shed light on corporations and states that enabled apartheid’s human rights violations.

The documents apparently contain information concerning dozens of secret apartheid-era military procurement projects as well as visits and liaisons with people and organisations in a number of countries including Argentina, China, France, Zionist Israel and the USA.

Open Secrets director, Hennie van Vuuren says this is an important step in an epic decade long battle for openness.

He adds that it’s scandalous that public institutions keep secret the records of collaborators with a crime against humanity.

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