Minister salutes CAR heroines

2013-05-23 19:35
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

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

Cape Town - Two women stole the show in the National Assembly on Wednesday for their bravery during the March battle between SA soldiers and Central African Republic (CAR) rebels.

Opening debate on her Budget Vote, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula made Susette Gates and one Corporal Nkoana stand up in the house.

She described how they put their lives at risk during the CAR clash, which left 13 SA National Defence Force members dead.

Gates was not soldier, but a civilian who works in the department's finance management division.

She was the financial officer for the SANDF mission in the CAR.

"When she (Gates) and the other contingent of civilians became aware of the imminent attack by the rebels they vacated their accommodation and were relocated to a safer place," said Mapisa-Nqakula.

Gates was forced to leave behind a significant cash contingency.

"She knew that should the money be discovered it would fall in the wrong hands and be used to fund rebel activity.

"At the height of the battle, she returned to the base to fetch the money and accounting documents, at great risk to her life," the minister said.

While leaving the base, Seleka rebels accosted her - demanding she hand over the money, which she had hidden in bags.

"She managed to convince them that she was carrying clothes and hitch hiked with French troops to the airport," Mapisa-Nqakula told MPs.

Gates returned to South Africa with the money, totalling R3m in foreign currency.

Corporal Nkoana is an army medic who volunteered to assist her wounded colleagues during "the heat of the battle".

"Whilst returning to the base the convoy was ambushed by Seleka rebels.

"Without vehicles and maps to guide them to base, 16 members were cut off from their company and realised that their hiding place was surrounded by rebels," the minister said.

This is where Nkoana earned the nickname "the human navigator", leading her colleagues out of rebel territory.

"For two long days and nights, they moved under her command and guidance, carrying casualties of war... Her actions saved all 16 of our soldiers, including two who were shot."

Mapisa-Nqakula described the two as "heroines" and "true patriots".

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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
22 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.