Our soldiers will never turn against the state - defence minister

2016-05-11 14:22
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Thulani Gqirana, News24)

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Cape Town - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has slammed EFF leader Julius Malema’s warning of "soldiers turning against President Jacob Zuma" as reckless and irresponsible.

During the party’s manifesto launch earlier this month, Malema warned Zuma to leave office before the army turned against him.

- Read more: Leave or army will turn its guns against you - Malema tells Zuma

"Those soldiers are going to turn their guns against you," Malema told thousands of supporters at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.

Mapisa-Nqakula said she did not know what the utterances were based on.

Addressing media ahead of her budget vote speech in Parliament on Wednesday, she slammed the insinuation that the defence force might turn against the state.


"This defence force is one of patriots, of people who understand what South Africa’s interests are and what they should be, who understand we are the last line of defence in South Africa," she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula said Malema was implying that the defence force was not patriotic.

"This defence force has been tested."

She said they had not interfered during political challenges in the country, including those at the doorstep of the ruling party, and if there was any such threat, they would know about it, but there was no possibility of that for now.

"To make such a statement... It was a rather reckless and irresponsible statement," said the minister.

She said leaders had to bear in mind how their statements could be interpreted.

"You could be seen as inciting the soldiers to turn against the state."

Mapisa-Nqakula said the South African National Defence Force was non-partisan and was loyal to the Constitution.

Read more on:    eff  |  sandf  |  nosiviwe mapisa-nqakula  |  julius malema  |  cape town  |  politics  |  military  |  local elections 2016

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