Let SA peace troops be - minister

2013-02-19 22:12

Cape Town - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula spoke out on Tuesday against critics of South Africa's deployment of military personnel on the continent.

The role of the military in supporting peace and stability on the continent was in line with foreign policy objectives, she told the National Assembly during debate on President Jacob Zuma's state-of-the-nation address.

"These objectives recognise the fact that South Africa’s own development cannot happen outside that of the continent, and that our fortunes as a country are dependent and linked to the success of the African story," she said.

Situations of war and instability on any part of the continent were detrimental to effective development and could, thus, pose direct or indirect threats to South Africa’s own national interest.

As part of this national consensus, it was important to understand and appreciate this principle, and consideration of the role played by the SA National Defence Force in supporting peace and development within the continent.

"I am aware that recently there have been attempts to present this important role as unnecessary, wasteful and without benefit to South Africa," she said.

"This assertion, in particular with regard to our engagements in the Mozambican channel, the Central African Republic, and most recently the troops' contribution to the Southern African Development Community neutral force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has at times been deliberately misleading and dishonest."

It was important for the SANDF to be seen as an essential national asset that should be protected from political postulations or used to achieve sectarian political interest.

"All of us should make careful consideration to avoid the dangerous temptation to play political football with issues of our defence force and keep it free of the influences of varying and competing political interests.

"For our part as government, we will continue to ensure that the primary functions of our defence force will remain those of deterrence, defence, and the protection of key national interests," she said.

  • criticallyhonest - 2013-02-19 22:34

    When governments are in trouble at home they usually send troops abroad!

      koos.vandermerwe.1042 - 2013-02-20 03:22

      Anthony, go and compare the stats to how many people were killed in let's say Iraq or Afganistan last year,then compare it to how many people were murdered in SA last year. Also remember that SA is supposed to be a stable, peaceful nation who is at present not at war with anyone. Then tell me in all honesty if the money could not have been better spent right here at home, enabling a better and more efficient police force to combat rampant crime in our own country where the government of the day is failing theconstitution which states very clearly that every citizen has the right to be safe.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2013-02-20 07:54

      Koos, Sure SA should spend more on its police force!! But as important is to have a stable continent!! JOBS is the biggest factor to fight crime in SA, and jobs often is EXPORT to African countries!!

  • Jason - 2013-02-20 00:16

    I understand the foreign policy angle and the need to assist the continent in peace-keeping efforts, but this is costing us hundreds of millions without any appreciable benefit. Surely the money could be better spent at home?

      AllcoveredinNinjas - 2013-02-20 08:33

      South Africa has a higher asylem seeking rate in the world and almost all of it from African countries which places immence burden on the state , it costs lots of money . Taking the neccessary steps to stabilse and democratise the continent should be a priority , this requires a strong and adapt military.

      Jason - 2013-02-22 00:14

      Bull. We have millions that are homeless and starving yet seem more interested in assisting the perceived problems of other African countries. Rethink the asylem policies. But even if they don't, I'll bet the cost pales against the military outlay "needed" to curb hypothetical problems. Charity begins at home - we are not the African police force.

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-02-20 01:32

    Why don't u send the consultants there because almost all the defence budget is spent on them.

  • hein.huyser - 2013-02-20 06:28

    More people getting killed at home per day that in all the countries we have troops in. And F.... With foreign practices and uses, what about safeguarding us first?

  • BA Mich - 2013-02-20 06:29

    The defense forces admit that they cannot patrol our borders completey. How the hell can we then send troops to other countries???!!! Look after your own home before you try and clean someone else's!!!

  • raymond.kok3 - 2013-02-20 06:36

    well your president used it in a political way by denying the DA reqeust for assistance on the Cape flats but they seem to be available everywhere else.Another point i thought according to your useless president other countrys internall affairs are they own problem eg Zimbabwe when they were assaulted by they other dumb fosille overthere so why dont you shut up and bring back our overweight and lazy soldiers and let them lounge around in Mzanzi and cost us less as they are costing us now

      Peter Gibbs - 2013-02-20 07:36

      Raymond.a, who mentioned the SAP. Anyway , what "trained" SANDF. They are all too stupid or lazy to train. Also I believe a lot of them have "tooth-ache"

  • simphiwe.charlie.5 - 2013-02-20 06:49

    Our troops are being sent to prop up unpopular corrupt governments. We have no business in these countries!

      Saartjie Matthysen - 2013-03-24 22:40

      And now we have maybe 9 killed there . .

  • Charles Frederik Robberts - 2013-02-20 06:52

    Remember minister,you work for us the citizens of SA,and it is our money being used to pay the troops! if we say NO,then you must listen! Do you understand the functions of a civil servant?

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2013-02-20 07:16

    "...linked to the success of the African story". What African success story story? Please enlighten me because I don'r recall any!

  • butch.poulter - 2013-02-20 07:24

    Rather deploy this "national asset" to the Kruger park to safegaurd our real national asset, the rhino.

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-02-20 07:37

    charity begins at home..we need the troops here at home in the crime capital of the world.

      Afadameh Ashimizo - 2013-02-20 07:53

      That is the function of the police

  • Phumlane Mkhwanazi - 2013-02-20 08:10

    lol so we say troops should do police work... becareful of what you wish for!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-20 09:21

    Foreign policy objectives?. In the meantime rape, murder and criminality are out of control but they will go and keep the peace somewhere else. You can't even ask them to pluck a blooming chicken. Hopeless lot.

  • pages:
  • 1