SANDF clarifies force composition

2013-04-04 11:41
SANDF (File)

SANDF (File)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force decides the composition of forces it deploys, Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said on Thursday.

"It is left to the military to command the SANDF, no one else," he said.

"The SANDF decides on the composition based on the task at hand."

Specialised soldiers

Mabanga was responding on a report in The Star on Thursday that according to a secret document specialised soldiers were never supposed to be part of the operation in the Central African Republic (CAR).

South Africa's presence in the CAR was for the "promotion of the training of military personnel through the exchange of trainees, instructors, and observers" according to the memorandum of understanding between the two countries, the newspaper reported.

However, Mabanga said people should not "narrow their thinking".

"What if the CAR has specialised forces - do we not train them because it was not specifically mentioned? No we train them. People should not be naive," he said.

"People should try and broaden their understanding of international relations."

SA National Defence Union (Sandu) national secretary Pikkie Greef said he could not comment because he had not seen the document.

"I think it is difficult to say if the deployment of any soldiers to the CAR was unlawful before seeing the memorandum of understanding," said Greef.

"I would like to see the document."

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

 

Read more on:    sandf  |  xolani mabanga  |  central african republic  |  car uprisings  |  military

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