Now the Mbeki government has allowed a Chinese arms shipment bound for Zimbabwe to dock at the South African port of Durban:
The South African newspaper Beeld said a copy of the ship’s cargo documentation showed it was carrying almost 3m rounds of ammunition suitable for AK-47 assault rifles. There were also reports that the shipment contained mortar bombs and rocket-propelled grenade equipment.
Police confirmed that the shipment included arms, sparking an outcry and demands from the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, for it to be impounded. The discovery comes at a sensitive time for South Africa’s government as it faces international criticism of its “quiet diplomacy” towards Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s president.Wow. It had been reported that SA would block this trans-shipment. However:
Themba Maseko, the South African government’s chief spokesman, said the authorities could not prevent the shipment reaching its destination. Mr Maseko said South Africa had to be seen to be “treading very carefully” in its relations with Zimbabwe, given its role as chief mediator between the MDC and Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF.
And of course by "treading very carefully" he means "ensuring Mugabe stays in power"!