We were surprised: Mapisa-Nqakula

By Drum Digital
04 April 2013

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nquakula conceded on Thursday that South African troops were not prepared to deal with an attack in the Central African Republic (CAR).

"We were not equipped in a way that would be able to repel that kind of battle," she told Parliament's standing committee on defence.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in the clash with Seleka rebel forces near Bangui on March 23.

Mapisa-Nqakula suggested there were question marks about the military intelligence provided to soldiers on the front-line.

"We never deployed to the CAR to wage a battle. We never anticipated [a battle]," she said.

The minister declined to give details about the withdrawal of troops from the central African country, insisting this was an operational matter.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday that South African would withdraw its troops from CAR.

-by Sapa

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