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The vast caverns of the ExCel centre in London’s docklands echoed to the polyglot sound of the world’s defence industry in mid-September, as companies and customers gathered for the biannual Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition.

Among the clatter of weapons being cocked, unmanned systems buzzing around in their own arena and video walls showing explosions to a soft-rock soundtrack, was a 460 sq m pavilion rolling to the burr of South African voices.

South Africa was the only African state to host its own pavilion, gathering…



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