Chief insists SANDF will be ready for DRC mission

2013-05-16 18:01


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - South African Defence Force soldiers who are training for a United Nations military mission in Congo will be adequately prepared even though the army as a whole is overstretched and underfunded, the army chief said on Thursday.

Lieutenant General VR Masondo also told media at a briefing that the units bound for Congo are being helped in their training by troops who participated in a mission in Central African Republic, or CAR.

In March, rebels there killed 14 SANDF soldiers while seizing the capital, Bangui, and overthrowing president Francois Bozize.

"We have taken heed of the CAR incident and will incorporate the lessons learned from this in preparing for future operations," Masondo said without elaborating.

Analysts said the SANDF lacked air cover and there were questions about why they deployed under a bilateral deal rather than under UN or regional auspices.

The UN Security Council has authorised a new "intervention brigade" for Congo with a mandate to take offensive military action against rebel groups to help bring peace to the eastern part of the vast, mineral-rich country, beset by fighting since the end of the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda.

The Congolese army said 32 people were killed in fighting between Congolese soldiers and militiamen who attacked a town north of Goma on Wednesday.

Masondo said the army's budget of about More than R10bn is not enough to address its needs, which include the replacement of old equipment and dilapidated facilities, and tasks such as foreign missions, border patrols, securing hospitals during worker strikes, the documentation of immigrants and support for the police.

Funding challenges make it difficult "to do everything that we are required to do," Masondo said.

But he acknowledged there is a "dire need" for the South African government to direct resources to social and economic programs in a country with high unemployment and a widening gulf between rich and poor.

He said the troops heading to Congo are "preparing sufficientl", despite shortfalls in the military.

The UN said a contingent of about 100 Tanzanian troops arrived in eastern Congo on 11 May, a first step in assembling a new brigade.

The rest of the troops will arrive in stages, but no clear deadline has been given so far.

Malawi has also pledged troops, though some military experts question whether the envisioned force of several thousand is big enough to restore security.

- AP

Read more on:    sandf  |  drc  |  central africa  |  military

Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Wednesday Bellville - 09:57 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    DELAYS between the R300 Highway and the Durban Road exit
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:24 AM
    Road name: Koeberg Road Southbound
    DELAYS through Brooklyn towards the N1 Highway
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1595.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.