n Journal for Contemporary History - Arms acquisition and procurement in South Africa : the socio-history of arms deals with reference to attitudes, strengths and limitations in decision-making (1935-2004) (II)

Volume 31, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



This article follows on an earlier contribution that appeared in the previous edition of this journal (2005). The previous delivery discussed the secretive mindset of arms acquisition and procurement that marked the apartheid era. References were made to the pre-1948 approach under the Union of South Africa's leadership and the apartheid authoritarian and secrecy-driven approaches. The article also referred to the role of influential political leaders in the process. The article addresses in more detail the historical differences between arms acquisition before 1948 (especially during the Second World War) and the role of political leaders such as Genl. Smuts at the time. These approaches are contrasted with the secretive, centralised and one-sided decision-making process of the apartheid government. Lastly the impact of past approaches on the current context of arms procurement deserves attention.

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