(Mugabe used his VISA card in Beijing and now he will have new toys for his "thugs" to make sure he stays in power...)
A Chinese ship carrying a consignment of weapons destined for Zimbabwe has been cleared through customs at Durban harbour, police and transport officials say.
"There are arms on the vessel and the ship is on the outer anchorage of the port and it's been docked here since April 14," Nicholas Gunther, of the police explosives unit, said yesterday.
A transport spokesperson later confirmed that the An Yue Jiang, which was initially denied entry for having incorrect paperwork, had been cleared through customs. The ship is owned and operated by the China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), which a US newspaper claimed in 2006 "acts as the merchant marine for the Chinese military".
International sanctions imposed by Western countries against Zimbabwe include a ban on weapons sales.
Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa yesterday declined to comment.
Sars said they were getting the "full facts" before commenting.
The news of the arms consignment will exacerbate fear among Zimbabwe's opposition that the government is planning to unleash the military on his opponents.