February 20, 2010: Corruption, particularly when it comes to defense spending, is a big problem in South Africa. So it came as no surprise when, on January 5th, police seized eight tons of small arms ammo (mainly 9mm and 12 gauge shotgun). Then things got interesting, as the shipment, which the police thought was being smuggled to Senegal, appeared to belong to the UN, and was being sent to VIP protection teams in Congo, Burundi, Ivory Coast and Liberia.
The UN, which has had a lot of problems with corruption, insists the ammo order, and shipping arrangements are legit. The police, actually a special anti-corruption unit, insist that the shipment was part of a smuggling operation. Lawyers are still hurling documents and charges at each other, and the eight tons of ammo remains undelivered to anyone.