Original Post Date: 2005-01-17 Time: 05:20:08 Posted By: Jan[This is so ridiculous. It either shows the complete and utter paranoia on the part of the black government or their desire to cause trouble and to insinuate that whites are stockpiling weapons.
The people arrested are two white men and a woman… who run the little museum. The weapons involved have, in some cases, been on their books since 1947! Duh!!
The so-called “tanks” are: a Ferret armoured car, Eland 60, Eland 90 and a Ratel. To explain: A Ferret is a teeny weeny little armoured car… about the size of a Humvee or smaller. An Eland 60 and 90 are armed with 60 and 90mm guns. A Ratel is an armoured personnel carrier. None of these are real “tanks”…
It is amazing that this little museum and its staff take such good care of the old weapons. I have only once visited the little museum and I thoroughly enjoyed it with its selection of WWII weapons. My favourite exhibit was a little German 1-man submarine from WWII – the likes of which I have never even read about in any military books. No doubt… the museum academics were getting weapons from recent “Apartheid” S.African history to put in the museum… And now the paranoid/mad/trouble-making government wants to accuse them of what? Trying to “stock-pile” weapons to take over this country with? With what? 4 Armoured cars? You must be joking… Jan]
Johannesburg – Investigations were continuing into the origins of some of the artefacts at Johannesburg’s SA National Museum of Military History, an SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesperson said on Monday.
This follows a raid last week and the arrest of the museum’s director John Keen and curators Richard Henry and Susanne Blendulf under laws governing the way military items are disposed of.
The arrests followed information that the museum held “war-capable weapons and vehicles” and that some of the items were shown on military records to have been destroyed.
Some of the items seized include four tanks. These are still in the possession of the SANDF and will remain there until the investigation is finalised, said Colonel Louis Kirstein.
The three people arrested were released from custody on Friday afternoon without being charged.
Kirstein told Sapa last week that according to SANDF information the equipment seized was in working order “meaning they can be used for the purpose they are intended for”.
The museum’s acting director Sandy McKenzie said the four vehicles had been disarmed.
Acquired since 1947
They were an Eland 60, and Eland 90 and a Ferret – all light armoured vehicles, as well as a Ratel infantry fighting vehicle.
Most of the small arms under threat of confiscation, including pistols, machine guns and rifles, had been disabled – except for “one or two” that had just came into the museum’s possession.
All the contested items were recorded on the museum’s acquisition books – some since 1947.
In December Sapa reported that the museum’s staff regularly start up a selection of their restored fleet to keep them in running order and on occasion invited the public to watch them do so – a highlight for children and for military enthusiasts.
Museum staffers also devoted time to restoring the vehicles.
In December, the museum, run by the department of arts and culture, had 18 vehicles in running order and planned to rehabilitate more.
The confiscated Ratel was used by the old SA Defence Force in the Angolan war, and many of the small arms were antiques and irreplaceable.
Further items were expected to be confiscated on Monday but Kirstein said only that “investigations are continuing”.
Comment from the museum and the department of arts and culture was not immediately available.