CAR debate 'could threaten state security'

2013-04-05 13:02

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Friday hit back at people demanding answers about the deaths of 13 South African soldiers deployed to the Central African Republic, warning they threaten state security.

"Political parties and commentators should be careful not to delve into operational matters that could endanger state and personnel security," the presidency said.

Zuma on Thursday announced that the remaining South African soldiers would be withdrawn from the poor and violence-prone country after a bloody rebel coup.

Thirteen SA troops died and 27 were wounded - three critically - on 23 March when they came under fire from Seleka rebel fighters near the capital Bangui. Several thousand rebels toppled the regime the following day.

Thorny questions

Zuma now faces thorny questions over why South Africa had troops in the country in the first place, amid accusations of dodgy deals with ousted president Francois Bozize.

The government has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

"Do you think we would take the South African National Defence Force, send them out to go and defend or protect what belongs to individuals? It's so incorrect," Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told lawmakers Thursday during a testy debate.

Mapisa-Nqakula's appearance prompted outrage from the opposition, when Zuma's ANC supporters appeared to employ parliamentary stalling tactics to stifle the debate.

Opposition defence spokesperson David Maynier described the hearing as "a disgrace," accusing the ANC chair of trying "desperately to make sure that the hard questions were suppressed, and eventually that the meeting was closed".

"The committee was a national and international embarrassment," he said.

On Friday the presidency strongly denied opposition allegations that Zuma failed to adequately inform the public and Parliament about the deployment, which at one time numbered more than 200 troops.

"The public's right to know was taken into account and will continue to be, but without disclosing military strategies and tactics which would endanger lives and state security," the presidency said.

  • morkel.aj - 2013-04-05 13:06

    State Security? What about domestic security? More people die here than in some acknowledged war zones.

      Wilhelm Wolfgang de Beer - 2013-04-05 13:15

      CAR debate 'could threaten ANC security' sounds about right to me. Just like Marikana...

      Vin Savage - 2013-04-05 13:20

      So true - what state security..? "The government has vehemently denied any wrongdoing." No way..?? Isn't that the ANC clowns' answer to everything they f'up... eDen-nai, e-Den-nai, eDen-nai...

      Fly Onthewall - 2013-04-05 13:22

      What State Security, u have 3mil plus illegals roaming freely in SA and u wanna talk State Security... Idiot Z786...

      Desilusionada - 2013-04-05 13:29

      Zoooma is right. It will endanger state security. It will expose how p!$$poor military speaking SA is with regards to logistics, preparedness, equipment, training, communications, ground and air support, mobilization quality and quantity etc etc. Now we know why every question the DA has been asking at the oversight committee has been fudged, covered up and outright lied about. And perhaps also why Miss. Uncombed Hair was relieved of her duties. And, (as usual), re-deployed......

      Andre Van Deventer - 2013-04-05 13:46

      The chair person in the debate, Jerome Maake, was totally inept, unprofessional and prejudiced against discussion to bring out the truth of what happened!

      Riaan Swart - 2013-04-05 13:58

      We ask questions why our soldiers die protecting someone that came in to power via coup d'état and what they were doing there protecting such a person in the first place, why they waste OUR Tax money protecting such a person and we get the new response to everything they want to hide. State security risk.

      Denis Dendrinos - 2013-04-05 14:04

      once again the convenient excuse gets rolled out - just like for Nkandla......

      Dmitri Dumas - 2013-04-05 14:05

      Hell. I arrived too late at this site. I was going to ask "What state security", but I see the majority of folks have asked the question already ... Oh well. Time for a Friday beer... Have a lekker weekend everyone :)

      ready2go - 2013-04-05 14:51

      When will Zuma learn the public is not a bunch of idiots, most of us have internet as we can see from all the links and we find out everything ourselves. Trying to cover up yet another scandal, using South Africans as his "human shield". Time for him to realize we know whats going on, and we sure as hell dont like it...

      Boyisile Yawa - 2013-04-05 14:55

      Zuma is 100% right when saying this debate will threaten state security. It is clear that these Rebels were assisted. I suspect France and Chad. That can cause war with these countries. Is that what we want?

      Adrien McGuire - 2013-04-05 17:15

      Read this from 2010 !

  • Terence Wessels - 2013-04-05 13:08

    Reported on And according to another source the death toll could be even higher,” the RFI reporter added. “The source, who wants to remain anonymous, was at the French military base on Monday March 25, the day after Bangui fell to the rebels. He said he counted at least 50 body bags about to be loaded onto a Hercules transport plane heading for Pretoria. All the while, other dead bodies of South African soldiers kept arriving.” Bensimon said that other military and diplomatic sources had confirmed to him that the number of South Africans killed was “more than 40”.

      Malcolm Molver - 2013-04-05 13:21 Seems the troops were deployed to protect mining interests. The ANC is making loads of cash through mining contracts agreed with Francois Bozize. One of the mining companies prospecting in CAR has Zuma's nephew as a shareholder. There's your answer people

      Fly Onthewall - 2013-04-05 13:24

      Probably why Nkandla cost so much, no one in the ANC seems to be able to count...

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 13:27

      Thank you

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 13:40

      They are trying to make out that the brave soldiers of Parachute Battalion were the only ones there... BS! Special Forces were already in the fight. As per:

      Johan Botha - 2013-04-05 13:44

      @ Malcolm. I read the link you send. Thanks. very interesting reading. I really hope some DA member reads this and it igets the attention it deserves. It is time zuma and all his croonies is ousted.

      Johan Botha - 2013-04-05 13:52

      @Malcom. This is from the website of DIG OIL. The company mentiond in the link you send. So now for sure confirmed. So if somebody can find the link that proved our troops was there to protect the oil o man!

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 14:10

      If I had the money I would provide every citizen in South Africa an INTERNET connection and then teach them how to search for the truth ONLINE. It's difficult because the internet has a lot of BS. But after a short while one gets the hang of it. One starts to see the LINKS and one starts to see the truth REPEATED. Then the ANC can pass all the SECRECY BILLS they want to and be damned whilst doing so. America is trying to control the NET. China is almost succeeding. Hopefully everyone who tries FAILS DISMALLY. The ANC is not the government... YA/NEE... tell us another! RIP South African soldier, you may not have known what you were fighting for, but the WORLD knows. And I hope your deaths will be avenged by the people of South Africa at the voting booth. I love my country and its people. I hate my government. (Was a supporter for one and a half years...) This s*it will turn me to drink and religion.

      Gareth De Bruyn - 2013-04-05 15:16

      No sh@t the troops were sent to protect mining and oil. What do you think modern armies are used for? All you had to do is look who was involved chad and car. On the chad/car boarder there is an estimated 2 billion barrels of oil. Finally ANC is learning from the west. Protect corporate insterests at all costs. The corporates are the ones who pay bills.

  • Compos Mentis - 2013-04-05 13:09

    Another primary school comment.... GO JZ, you are the weakest link. And please get someone to tell you what national security is and what the role of citizens is in national security, and why we can question your idiotic decisions.

  • Willie - 2013-04-05 13:09

    We no longer going to protect our interest in CAR because we recalling our boys. who's gonna protect them

  • Gavin Venter - 2013-04-05 13:09

    Ah, yes, so once again, JZ has things to hide..

      Dave Elmore - 2013-04-05 13:12

      The more vehement the rhetoric from the ANC, the bigger the lie they are hiding

  • George Lyon - 2013-04-05 13:10

    I'm am sure the families of 13 sacrificed young men wish we had asked more questions.

  • Derek John Main - 2013-04-05 13:10

    Cover-up! Phantsi cANCer, phantsi!!!

  • Gerhard de Bruijn - 2013-04-05 13:11

    RUBBISH! It will only emphasize how corrupt you are and how you use state assets and personnel for personal gain!!!!

      Gareth De Bruyn - 2013-04-05 15:06

      The west do the same. The ANC is learning quickly.

  • G.I Jane - 2013-04-05 13:12

    This is just another excuse of Zuma not to answer questions.

  • Besil Captain Fredman - 2013-04-05 13:12

    This is the first country in the world were the Commander in chief is questioned so much about the army and its operations, even in the US they dont do it this way, It really does compromise state security.

      Cane Corso - 2013-04-05 13:19

      We don't want operational detail. We want to know why there seems to be a link between Bozize and Chancellor House. We're not daft little children.

      JMaree - 2013-04-05 13:23

      BS, Obama was brought in front of parliament to answer questions about Libya...

      arc.con.98 - 2013-04-05 13:32

      This is a country where the Commander in Chief IS the compromise to State security, that's the difference.

      Bruce Gauld - 2013-04-05 13:33

      Correct about Obama, even the ex C.I.A director was called in front of a comittee to answer questions relating to certain operations in the Afghanistan theatre. You're little JZ must answer. Those troops and that money does NOT belong to him!!

      singatha.jongihlati - 2013-04-05 13:47

      Really? Don't think so,perhaps a sample and a little Google searching.

      Bibi van Zyl - 2013-04-05 14:17

      @Besilfredman and you are just willing to accept everything. There is a whole new world beyond news24. On BBC, one of the soldiers said that they were not there to train any soldiers, but to protect assets. If you have voted, paid your taxes and are a law abiding citizen you have the right to question the powers that be.

  • Charl Louw - 2013-04-05 13:14

    Seems that every time JZ do something funny it touches on National Security - nice way to hide things!

  • Willie Howell - 2013-04-05 13:15

    Zuma this sounds like a threat not a warning???better watch you own back....

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 13:32

      He does sound very threatening. Ever watched ANIMAL FARM? Dear leader is taking us down the tubes.

  • Moeketsi Sylvester Ntseki - 2013-04-05 13:17

    lets live the matter in hands SANDF and the president,debating publicitly on how the SANDF is being deployed and how they ended up being ambushed can threaten the security of the state, let this matter be classified as high sensetive.

      Cane Corso - 2013-04-05 13:23

      WHY were they there, not HOW. Know the difference. Ja, keep everything secret, even how they steal taxes, ne?

      Fly Onthewall - 2013-04-05 13:26

      @ Moeketsi - I think u should make ur comment above a State Secret and delete it...

      singatha.jongihlati - 2013-04-05 13:28

      I beg to differ and may I selectively quote from.. "Claiming that when citizens raise such questions they are potentially endangering the security of South Africa and of our troops, robs citizens of their dignity and of their democratic rights. It treats us all like minor children in a patriarchal and authoritarian household"

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 13:29

      Your advice supports and if followed, would protect shady dealings, corruption, theft and larceny. I am sure that is not what you want. However, if it is what you want, then God have mercy on your soul.

      arc.con.98 - 2013-04-05 13:36

      @ Moeketsi--- What? so that the ANC runs the army and police EXACTLY the way the"Old Apartheid Government" did? You're a fool! An complete fool...

      Jaco Brand - 2013-04-05 13:37

  • vambozha.mutemi.9 - 2013-04-05 13:18

    A year ago we were all lost when we thought Malema is gonna oust Zuma, its actually CAR thats gonna do that!

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 13:30

      Would that you were right. He's done enough damage.

  • Singatha Jongihlati - 2013-04-05 13:20

    How so?Could understand if in a State of war and there are troop movements,but we have withdrawn and only fair to ask why we were there in the first place.

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-05 13:31

      True that. Wish some of these commentators could get it into their thick skulls.

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 13:33

      Exactly, Singatha. And denying you answers to reasonable questions violates your rights as a law-abiding, tax paying citizen. Using "state security" as an excuse (when it is not a valid reason) is dishonest and not even original - it was originally done by the Nats. You have reason to fear a government that fears to reveal the truth.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-05 13:20

    Why so evasive. Where there's smoke there's fire. Chancellor House needs to audited.

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 13:36

      I could not agree with you more. If they have nothing to hide, they should welcome such an opportunity to prove they are above board. But do you see them submitting to an audit? I don't. To me this looks like covering up.

      Adrien McGuire - 2013-04-05 17:12

      Read this from 2010

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-05 13:23

    WHY were they there, not HOW. Know the difference. Ja, keep everything secret, even how they steal taxes, ne?

  • Lesibana Maropola - 2013-04-05 13:27

    Hei! You morons. We don't want to know the strategies and tactics used by SANDF while in CAR. What we want to know is - WHY WERE THEY SENT TO CAR? Under which pretex? I think this is a very simple question. Unless if you want to become philosophical, of which you are milion miles away from being one JZ.

  • Alexander Du Plessis - 2013-04-05 13:29

    Mr Zuma, you're interests and your job are not "state security" ... what we find will probably cost you your job ... and remember, separation between party and state. ANC does NOT equal RSA

  • Boikanyo Elton Mokgatle - 2013-04-05 13:29

    I dnt think our president is rite when he replied the society saying everybody want to lead this country,do you still remember this words?PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN

  • Boikanyo Elton Mokgatle - 2013-04-05 13:30

    I dnt think our president is rite when he replied the society saying everybody want to lead this country,do you still remember this words?PEOPLE SHALL GOVERN

  • Ndlovu Khanyisani - 2013-04-05 13:30

    Sometimes they're things which need confidentiality we didn't know they're in CAR in the first place. The people who answer is Mbeki and Lekota because everything dates back from them while they were still in power.

  • Wacko1 - 2013-04-05 13:30

    Hey doofus are we at war with somebody that the CancER is not telling us about , more lies .......

  • Cabbage Promise Goats Dlamini - 2013-04-05 13:32

    When Msholozi denies you can be sure it is lies. When Msholozi says don't ask questions for security you can be sure to ask more questions. It is my opinion that tax payer money is used by the group of ANC elite to protect their deals in CAR. It is my opinion that ANC elite wasted SA soldier lives to protect the private deals in CAR. That is what I think the truth is. ANC has shown too many times how elites benefit and SA has to pay from 1994 the first day in power, arms deal, Tony Yengeni, Winnie Mandela got protected, now Msholozi and family and friends are protected. It cannot be denied. No truth from the only lies and stealing.

  • Henk Tredoux - 2013-04-05 13:32

    May we be reminded, before you became Prezzzz, One of your close allies, Shabby Shaik was convicted of a corrupt relationship with takes 2 or more parties to have a relationship.....corrupt or not. Then you became Prezzzz and Shabby got out.....isnt he suppose to be dead by now? Did he pay a good price and all??? Then your appointment of Semelani to the NPA....Fiasco!! Then your appointment of the National Clown of Police.... Bheki Cele......Fiasco!! Then the second Clown of be continued.....but fiasco in the making.... Minister of National Intelligence, who's wife was pushing drugs...... And it's news to her husband......dubious!!! Then your appointment of the SABC board....once/ twice.....Fiasco! Nkandla is your own domestic headache......but please send us the bill we will pay!! Then connect the dots....and by the way who is the biggest risk to national security Mr Prezz? ...... You connect the dots!!!!!!

      Dave Elmore - 2013-04-05 13:35


      Patience Masengemi - 2013-04-05 13:47

      yho! well said..

  • Mnyama White - 2013-04-05 13:37

    "Do you think we would take the South African National Defence Force, send them out to go and defend or protect what belongs to individuals? It's so incorrect," Yes - we think so and we will not stop digging until you have proven that we are incorrect.

      Mnyama White - 2013-04-05 13:39

      You are going down, mr Prez..

  • Darrell MacLennan - 2013-04-05 13:37

  • Deon Louw - 2013-04-05 13:37

    This is the new excuse as the others are getting a bit old: ("It is apartheids fault" or "we did not know we have to do that too")

  • Had Enuf - 2013-04-05 13:38

    Haha having the lid blown on undisclosed business ventures in a tin-pot dictatorship that was kicked out does not constitute a threat to our state security. It might constitute a threat to being caught out lying ! You are the weakest link, goodbye.

  • davy.botha - 2013-04-05 13:38

    This regime is worst then the apartheid one, they use all state laws the hide there underhanded ways. Please people open your eyes!

  • Magda Henning - 2013-04-05 13:39

    Zuma is covering up his own back side. We as citizens have the right to insist on knowing the truth. We as citizens have the right to ask for our own protection which is not given to us by his government. We have the right to ask him to leave office with immediate effect.

  • Compos Mentis - 2013-04-05 13:42

    The People Shall Govern!

  • Luther Du Plessis - 2013-04-05 13:42

    we don't have any state security...

      Luther Du Plessis - 2013-04-05 14:08

      Maybe because SA can hit chaos if the truth comes out, that the only threat besides, we have you as our president i'm sure we will survive..

  • Bongeka - 2013-04-05 13:43

    I think the government is now getting technical and running away from the real burning questions asked. The public don't want the inteligence or SANDF operational technics. All we want to know is why did you send them there and why are you refusing to bring them back if the only mission was not to fight the rebels and safeguard Bozize and the country's wealth? Just simple questions that need simple answers, nothing technical.

  • David Campbell - 2013-04-05 13:44

    I believe the story, the reason being that our men found shelter in the French camp until they were attended to by SANDF. It's more than a rat that smells here

  • Antipoaching - 2013-04-05 13:45

    Nkandla = State Security, Presidential Travel = State Security, Source of Zuma's extra income = State Security.... any-one noticing a trend when hard questions are asked?

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 14:50

      My prediction - we may soon see a Bureau of State Security, or BOSS for short . . .

  • Ferdi Preller - 2013-04-05 13:46

    Best job in the country...Government. Get paid to sit and sleep in parliament, be driven around in blue light cars, drink,eat and go on holiday with taxpayer's money and the best of it all...NOBODY IS ACCOUNTABLE

  • Putco Lebepe - 2013-04-05 13:47

    Last time when we asked about development in Nkandla, we were told about the risk of endangering Pres Zuma's security. Now we ask about the deployment of SANDF in CAR, we are told about putting the sucurity of the state at risk. Pres Zuma and his surrogates think we are stupid. He denies every thing. He raped, he denied it. He had a corrupt relationship with Shabir Shaik, he denied it. Actually, he is not prepared for once to say the truth.

      Oscar Branson - 2013-04-05 14:03

      unless the people vote for an ethical leader and representative of this country, SA will never regain true status, that being respect in the world again

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 14:51

      Absolutely, Oscar. Well said.

  • Lee Brand - 2013-04-05 13:49

    Indeed. He is correct - the whole sorry story threatens state security. 1. Our enemies know that if they attack us we could not organise ourselves out of a wet paper bag. 2. Our grippens have no weapons. 3. We cannot move troops and kit by air. 4. Our infantry belongs to a union. Our pres is a tad dim - military leadership is dimmer. We have no military inteligence and are fairly short of the common stuff. Our leaders lie when they dont know whats going on - all the time.

  • Richard - 2013-04-05 13:52

    Oh please this is a cob out. At what point were we in trouble. This has nothing to do with our security as South Africans.

      Jurie Nel - 2013-04-05 14:54

      Remember, Richard, we as South Africans do not count. We as voters are not important - the ANC is not interested in us as voters. Only in our votes.

  • Gareth Grogan - 2013-04-05 13:53

    Where there is smoke there is fire....... and from your past Mr president i dont believe a bloody filthy word you say

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-05 13:53

    One can mar just laugh at these despotic pariah goons.

  • David Makone - 2013-04-05 13:54

    Those of us who have become armchair critic, while the country's resource are being looted should bow our heads in shame.

  • Robbie Crouch - 2013-04-05 13:54

    Some security you are worried about... soldiers were sms'ing tactical information while being attacked!

  • Richard - 2013-04-05 13:58

    What makes me sick to the stomach is that 13 young men died which means their hopes and dreams at such a young age were snuffed out and we as a Nation have to beg, plead and steal to understand why. National security is just an easy way of saying we need not tell you. This is the way the county is being run and decisions are being made by the few elite who feel that they have no duty to report anything to us. How did they become so powerful. Easy they rely on the support of the multitude of people who do not understand any better and who are deprived of education. Even again this year school books have again not gone out. And this is the way Africa will again die once it has bled dry.

  • Deon Behrens - 2013-04-05 13:58

    What State security ??? corruption!

  • Callie Ritter - 2013-04-05 13:59

    Good grief, if JZ goes to the loo is that also threatening state security? Oops forgot, then the SPEAR is rearing its ugly head! THAT is a threat!

  • Oscar Branson - 2013-04-05 14:00

    what we as South Africans know to be the truth is that the ANC is excellent at hiding and denial of any actions that come back to haunt them. The ANC have absolutely no moral compass, let alone any respect to the tax payers in accounting for what they use the countries services for. Yes i mean to serve their own ends and fill their pockets as quickly as possible. Down with ANC and out the country please,be gone with you and your infestation of corruption * yes i like to dream big*

  • Vusi Madlala - 2013-04-05 14:02

    Let our brothers come home. Why is it that everywhere there is a conflict, South African soldiers must be deployed? Let those people sort their own mess. If there are those who have business interest in CAR, they must hire mercenaries and pay them instead of sending our brothers.

      Christopher Ng'andu - 2013-04-05 14:28


  • Ian Despy - 2013-04-05 14:04

    Maybe SANDF will become a national key point.........lying SOB