Defence committee to quiz minister about SONA army deployment letter

2017-02-17 12:10
SANDF troops making their way to Parliament ahead of SONA. (James de Villiers/News24)

SANDF troops making their way to Parliament ahead of SONA. (James de Villiers/News24)

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

Cape Town – Parliament's joint standing committee on defence says it will ask Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for more information around the deployment of 441 soldiers for the State of the Nation Address (SONA).

MPs on Friday adopted the letter President Jacob Zuma had sent on February 2, alerting Parliament to the deployment of the soldiers during SONA for the purposes of maintaining "law and order".

DA MP Sarel Marais wanted to know if it would have been possible for Zuma to have informed the committee sooner, seeing as it was "technically" in session during the week the letter was sent.

He also wanted to discuss the fact that the soldiers were patrolling in the precinct on the night of SONA, despite assurances from Speaker Baleka Mbete and Secretary to Parliament Gengezi Mgidlana that their duties would be ceremonial.

Meeting with the minister

He said there were clear differences between what was promised and what happened on the night.

ANC MP Mnyamezeli Booi said the committee was not in a position to answer those questions, and suggested Mapisa-Nqakula be asked if she would attend a committee meeting to elaborate.

ANC MP Dennis Gamede said it would be more appropriate for the presiding officers to also supply details around the signing off on the 441 soldiers and their duties on the night.

DA MP Shahid Esau said there is nothing the committee can do about the letter now other than to accept it as a formality. He said the committee should focus on getting answers from the ministry.

Joint chairperson Emmanuel Mlambo said the committee will ask the minister for a meeting.

It will write to Mbete and National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise for their input on the letter and the use of the army's services on the night.

Read more on:    sandf  |  cape town  |  politics  |  sona 2017

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


Fascinating facts about dogs

Think you know a lot about dogs? How many of these facts do you know?



Perfectly captured cat snapchats!
Fascinating facts about dogs
Out with the old dog, in with the new
Play with your pet when you're not at home
Traffic Alerts
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.