DA wants clarity on CAR situation

2013-03-30 13:27
(Alex Eliseev, via Twitter)

(Alex Eliseev, via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - The DA said on Saturday that Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula should "end the rumours and speculation" and provide clarity on what is going on in Central African Republic.

"If President Jacob Zuma, who is the commander-in-chief of the defence force, has made a political decision on how to proceed in CAR, that decision has evidently not been communicated to the defence force, to the public or to Parliament," MP David Maynier said in a statement.

"If no political decision has been made, seven days after 13 soldiers were killed in CAR, this raises questions about the president's leadership. Whatever the case, there has effectively been a communication blackout for five days on what is going on in the CAR."

Maynier said the failure to communicate has led to unconfirmed deployment reports and rumours.

However, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said they could not comment on the DA's statement, saying it was "politics" and that he was not a politician but a soldier.

Zuma will be attening the Extra-ordinary Summit of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to discuss developments in the CAR.

Spokesman Mac Maharaj said Zuma would attend the summit in N'Djamena in Chad on 3 April.

"The president will be accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele and the Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula," he said in a statement.

The summit was convened by Chad president, the ECCAS chairman, Idriss Dby.

Maharaj said Zuma would first address the memorial service on 2 April of the 13 South African soldiers who died in Bangui, CAR.

"The president once again extends his sincere condolences to the families and relatives at this difficult time."

Thirteen SA soldiers were killed and 27 injured during a battle with rebels in Bangui last week Saturday.

Secretary for defence Sam Gulube on Friday described the soldiers as great South African warriors who bravely fought a good battle.

Mapisa-Nqakula handed over the soldiers' remains to their families on Thursday.

They were part of 200 soldiers deployed to CAR earlier this year.

SANDF members had been deployed in CAR since 2007, following a memorandum of understanding between the two countries which resulted in a SANDF contingent being based in CAR for "training and capacity building purposes".

Maharaj referred all CAR queries to SANDF.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  sandf  |  david maynier  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  jacob zuma  |  republic  |  johannesburg  |  cape town  |  central african  |  car uprisings
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