Angola + 1 more

Angola-South Africa: Business links to UNITA

Source
Posted
Originally published
JOHANNESBURG, 1 February (IRIN) - South Africa intends to do more to end sanctions busting to Angola's UNITA rebels, but cannot guarantee to close all supply channels, a foreign affairs spokesman told IRIN on Tuesday.
The official was responding to remarks made on Monday by British Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain who reportedly said UNITA retained a strong and hidden support network in South Africa based on apartheid links.

Hain, in South Africa on a regional visit in which the Angolan conflict is high on his agenda, called on the government to act against businessmen based in South Africa who are flouting the UN embargo on UNITA, and said he would be presenting evidence to back up his charges. Last month, Hain named three men - among them South African Portuguese businessman Antonio Teixeira and South African-based Ukrainian Victor Bout - who he alleged were involved in supplying UNITA.

"Once the concrete evidence is there, definitely the law will take its course," South African foreign affairs spokesman Dumisani Rasheleng said. "Our policy has been trying to drive democracy and end conflict in Africa, so how can South Africa turn a blind eye when it comes to UNITA?"

Last week, South Africa's electronic news service the 'Daily Mail & Guardian' reported that one of the alleged sanctions breakers, Teixeira, was linked to a deal with the Angolan government aimed at reopening one of the country's richest diamond mines. The partnership was based on loans made to Diamond Works, a controversial outfit linked to the mercenary companies Executive Outcomes and British associate Sandline, through Teixeira's Guernsey-based holding company Lyndhurst Limited.

The 'Daily Mail & Guardian' report said a South African empowerment consortium, South African New Mining, is also connected with the deal to reopen the Yetwene mine in central Angola.

[ENDS]

[This item is delivered in the English service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: irin@ocha.unon.org or Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]

Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2000