Zuma ‘must establish inquiry’ into Central African Republic deaths

2013-04-04 12:28

President Jacob Zuma should establish a commission of inquiry to determine why South African troops were sent to the Central African Republic (CAR), the United Democratic Movement (UDM) has said.

“President Zuma must come home and institute an independent commission of inquiry to get to the bottom of this debacle,” UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said in a statement.

“Serious allegations have been made that South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops were sent to the CAR to protect his party’s (the ANC’s) interests and provide security for [removed CAR president Francois] Mr Bozizé.”

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed and 27 wounded on March 23 when they were attacked by Seleka rebel fighters near the CAR’s capital, Bangui.

Holomisa said there had been many contradicting statements from government on the reason for deploying troops in the CAR, and the inquiry would also help verify whether any training conducted by South African troops took place in the CAR in the past two years.

“South Africans want to know which national assets our troops were risked to protect,” he said.

“There is also the possibility that government may be sued by the families of those soldiers who lost their lives. It can’t be business as usual if we are to avoid a similar catastrophe.”

The UDM also congratulated the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on its decision to have the South African troops withdrawn from the CAR. Earlier, the Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomed the withdrawal of South African troops from the CAR.

“This is especially welcome news for the family and friends of the troops stationed in the CAR who, over the last week, have been in extraordinary danger, and who have lost 13 of their number in battle,” DA leader Helen Zille said.

“The presidency should urgently brief the country on the full details of this withdrawal.”

Zuma made the decision at an ECCAS summit in N’Djamena, Chad, yesterday, French news agency AFP reported.

“President Zuma has decided to withdraw the South African forces which are deployed in Bangui,” Chadian President Idriss Deby said, adding that Zuma was ready to provide troops in future if necessary.

Zille said while the withdrawal was welcome, the DA still wanted Zuma to explain why South African soldiers were deployed to the CAR.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.