Parliament defence meeting a 'disgrace'

2013-04-04 22:45
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - A meeting of Parliament's joint standing committee on defence on Thursday was an internationally embarrassing disgrace, the DA said.

"The joint standing committee on defence meeting was a disgrace," Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier said in a statement.

"The fact is that today the committee was a national and international embarrassment."

He claimed committee chairperson Jerome Maake had tried to make sure difficult questions about the deployment of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) were suppressed.

"This was clearly an attempt by the ANC’s chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, who was also ominously present at the meeting, to politically manage the 'CAR situation' in Parliament."

Maynier said the committee did not have the capacity to properly investigate the SANDF deployment to CAR.

On 23 March, 13 South African soldiers were killed and 27 wounded when Seleka rebel fighters attacked them near the CAR's capital Bangui.

Earlier, the Freedom Front Plus claimed an admission that South African troops were not prepared for attack in the CAR meant government had failed them.

"The acknowledgement by the minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, that the national defence force had neither been prepared for or expected the rebels to attack them in the CAR, confirms that the government had failed the defence force," FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said in a statement.

"Through this, the minister acknowledges that there was insufficient support and in particular insufficient information support for the troops in the CAR."

This was after Mapisa-Nqakula conceded South African troops were not prepared to deal with an attack in the CAR.

She suggested there were questions about the military intelligence provided to soldiers on the front-line.

"We never deployed to the CAR to wage a battle. We never anticipated [a battle]."

Groenewald said there were serious questions to be asked about military intelligence's capability.

"One of these is how the minister and President Jacob Zuma were incorrectly advised before the decision was taken to send troops to the CAR.

The information was clearly not accurate and military intelligence has to take the responsibility for this," he said.

Read more on:    da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  sandf  |  nosiviwe maphisa-nqakula  |  pieter groenewald  |  david maynier  |  mathole motshekga  |  central african republic  |  car uprisings  |  central africa  |  military

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