AP News

South Africa court blocks Zimbabwe helicopter gift


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — A South Africa-based civic rights group says a court in that country has again blocked a "donation" of surplus military helicopters to Zimbabwe's military.

The AfriForum group said Friday the gift of old Alouette helicopters was not cleared by South Africa's official arms control committee that vets weapons exports to recipient countries embargoed for their human rights record.

It said the South African High Court on Thursday upheld a January court ruling stopping the helicopters leaving the country for now and ordered the South African defense ministry liable to pay the costs of its latest proceedings.

Willie Spies, the group's legal representative, said the next hearing will be asked to scrap the delivery altogether.

"The helicopters aren't going anywhere. In practical terms it is a victory for us," he said.


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