News24

SA soldiers not deployed for battle

2013-04-04 17:27

Johannesburg - South African soldiers deployed in the Central African Republic were not there to wage battle, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Thursday.

"We must emphasise that, despite having being forced to defend themselves after being attacked, our soldiers we never deployed to [the] CAR to wage battle," Mapisa-Nqakula told Parliament's joint standing committee on defence.

"They had gone to the CAR to assist with the post-conflict recovery of that country, knowing that through their work, the people of that country will know peace and stability.

"Their efforts would ensure that fellow human beings, including future generations of African children, will live in conditions of peace, no longer victims of conflicts of greed for power."

Mapisa-Nqakula conceded that the deaths of 13 South African soldiers in the CAR had raised questions government should respond to.

"Let me assure all our people that, for us as a democratic government, it is absolutely essential that every South African should be allowed the space to demand accountability; and that government should provide answers that ensure such accountability."

However, government was concerned about unsubstantiated rumours that could jeopardise the security of many soldiers still deployed outside South African borders.

Mapisa-Nqakula said at an African Union meeting on 7 December, the peace and security council examined reports of its missions to the CAR.

It adopted decisions, among others, demanding the CAR rebel movements renounce violence and pursue peaceful dialogue.

The AU decisions also directed that member states should provide support for the socio-economic recovery and consolidation of peace and stability in the CAR. Measures proposed included assistance to the defence and security sector, she said.

Mapisa-Nqakula told the committee South Africa and the CAR had signed a defence memorandum of understanding in 2007.

This entailed helping the CAR build capacity in its army. This included training, VIP protection, training group leaders, specialists and infantry, refurbishment of bases and barracks, and providing equipment (camping equipment, training ammunition, uniforms, and vehicles).

"For the AU and South Africa, these developments created conducive conditions for the post-conflict recovery of the CAR."

Mapisa-Nqakula said when the situation in the CAR deteriorated earlier in this year, government made an assessment and deployed 200 more soldiers to the country.

"This was very important because a contingent of unarmed SANDF trainers and South African government assets were in the CAR.

It was also important to ensure that South African military assets in the CAR do not fall into the wrong hands."

Additional soldiers were not trainers and therefore were not deployed to train, but as a protection force for South African personnel and equipment.

Mapisa-Nqakula said her department was aware of media reports which said many of the soldiers interviewed had indicated they had not trained the CAR army.

"Training was not the mandate of the protection force, but that of the smaller group they were deployed to protect," she said.

Comments
  • allarenes173 - 2013-04-04 17:46

    Question : If they were not there to fight : why did they have so much ammunition ?

      SaintBruce Bruce - 2013-04-04 18:01

      Good point you make. I heard they expended nearly 10 tons of ammunition. If that is true then who was the ammo for - Bozize? Non combat elements are not expected to fight but to do the tasks they are assigned. Parabats are prime combat troops that you deploy when you expect trouble. The Minister did not expect trouble? Somebody did. Jacob must know something she doesn't. When you spin so much you get dizzy and forget your lines!

      En Gineer - 2013-04-04 18:13

      But didn't you read the article? If it is to believed, the additional 200 troops who as stated were not trainers, would have brought extra ammunition along.

  • Guy Alain - 2013-04-04 17:51

    they went to CAR to eat KFC and Nandos.

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2013-04-04 17:52

    Surely there was a better than 90% chance that they would inevitably be drawn into the 'conflict' at some stage or another?

      SaintBruce Bruce - 2013-04-04 18:03

      In January Jacob Zuma knew this and ego exceeded prudence resulting in needless deaths. If we keep up the pressure on the ANC they will crack and we will get to the bottom of this barrel which I expect goes very very deep!

  • Madise Paul-Zuhair Mphuthi - 2013-04-04 17:55

    BS!! You sent soldiers to sweet-talk peace in a war zone country!

  • ancbasher - 2013-04-04 17:59

    If not to fight, what's with all the rifles, grenades, rockets and stuff?

      En Gineer - 2013-04-04 18:16

      I doubt you read the article. "Additional soldiers were not trainers and therefore were not deployed to train, but as a protection force for South African personnel and equipment" Those additional soldiers would have brought all that stuff with them don't you think?

  • Bongeka - 2013-04-04 18:01

    Seleke rebels were staging a coupe to Bozize governmet and you sent the troop. Now you tell us that they were not sent there to fight. Then what did you send them there for if not to protect Bozize against rebels. Government officials sometimes think they're talking to the Grade R or Grade 1 kids.

      Sthembiso Jali - 2013-04-04 18:10

      They were sent there to recruit, train

  • Piero Mendace - 2013-04-04 18:04

    Seems like poor Intel and planning all round. Time to step down, if that is how you respect the lives of our troops with that level of poor planning you should not have the job, get out Minister. Do something you know..

  • Alan Street - 2013-04-04 18:04

    Absolute crap!

  • Lesibana Maropola - 2013-04-04 18:04

    SANDF this SANDF that dat is foooookkkkkkkooooooollllll! Now we have an idea of what transpired so spare your souls for judgment day

      Xavier7034 - 2013-04-04 18:38

      ? - you OK buddy?

      Pierre Nortje - 2013-04-05 19:26

      Huh?? Remember you pills ....

  • Lee Brand - 2013-04-04 18:04

    Only in SA under the African National Confusion! In Japan this lady would already have a sword through her. In China, a hail of bullets. How incompetant can you actually get? We sent our army and the last thing we expected was that they would actually have to fight? She should be a supervisor at Park station - maybe. At a push. However, if you look at the competance of our esteemed leader, this one is right up there with him. Unbelievable. And we have so many smart people in SA. Yet we are led by this rubbish!

  • Bheki Nxumalo - 2013-04-04 18:06

    again,the minister must to rest

      Francois Smith - 2013-04-04 18:38

      Do you have an English translation for your comment?

      Pierre Nortje - 2013-04-05 19:25

      The minister must be to resits when shes whebbdfjhfujdhksadhkus

  • Alic France - 2013-04-04 18:08

    They had gone to the CAR to assist with the post-conflict recovery of that country, knowing that through their work, the people of that country will know peace and stability'' it seems like she is trying to get be emotional here. First of all, the 200 troops were sent to CAR after situation started deteriorating to protect SA equipment that's what she is saying,but the question is how were they going to protect it without being well-armed, spears arrows. I fail to get a logic here any one pls

  • Naphtali Khutso - 2013-04-04 18:14

    Soldiers should fight. Soldiers are not like Police who are confined to South Africa only. So they should learn other countries' weaknesses out there and in case they have to protect their country against invasion, they should know how. They earn 5x their salaries in danger allowance when they are out of SA.

      Willie - 2013-04-04 18:53

      what is your point,can't you post an intelligent one

  • Philemonmaepa Phatlane - 2013-04-04 18:20

    no need to explain as our loved ones lost their lives.absolutely poor planning from our gov.

      Pierre Nortje - 2013-04-05 19:24

      Vote DA

  • Mordikaai Speak - 2013-04-04 18:20

    En Finder you only strengthen the fact the military is trained to wage in war not in peace.

  • Jacques Louw - 2013-04-04 18:28

    Soldiers - (but not for battle) FAIL.

  • Bruce Gauld - 2013-04-04 18:32

    They were ambushed! Out on a patrol! What's this nonesense they were not there to fight? Wtf were they on a patrol for then?? Lies! If they were there to protect the smaller group of 'training' soldiers and govt assets then going on a patrol would have left all of that defenseless!!! They lie and deny! Lie lie lie! Deny deny deny! They are trying their best to confuse the facts!

      Patricia Bull - 2013-04-04 20:16

      Am I the only one that can hear the rest of the world crying for us ?

  • Hein Huyser - 2013-04-04 18:33

    Why bring in the "Future African children" angle into the speach if not to invoke sympathy from voters? That alone makes me very suspicious of the original intentions and I wonder about how disingeneous they are. Maybe first instincts were correct They lie

  • Bheki Nxumalo - 2013-04-04 18:34

    no more news from that girl pls ,joke are over anyone to tell her

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 18:38

    Eh, what!? They died for nothing. That country is now worse of than before.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 18:41

    200 on patrol and ambushed? Attacked at their base? What bullshyte intel hogwash they keep on spewing. How they love to insult the intelligent among us.

  • Lerato Kupane - 2013-04-04 18:43

    how many soldiers were killed? because recent reports indicated that more sandf soldiers were killed

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-04-04 18:46

    The demand by the rebels in the peace accord which Bozize and the rebels signed was for SA to pull out all troops from that country.When the war started in december lastr year the rebels told the whole world that Bozize and zuma failed to honour the peace agreement. So how can the minister say they were not prepared for war when the main reason for war is the deployment of our troops in that country? Why did they fail to withdraw our troops as required by the peace accord?

      Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 18:52

      Because of greed. Chancellor House stood to gain $80mill a year for 10 years in diamons for weapons and support.

  • deon.duplessis.144 - 2013-04-04 18:47

    whahaha, I just love how government automatically assumes that all S.A citizens are ignorant. Please, you don't put a condom on unless you're about to do the nasty. Go try sell this k?k to someone ells please.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 18:49

    Remember. 90% of military appointments arose from integrating the then MK and APLA into the then SADF. AA kicked in and we all know the rest. As a result you have a bunch of hardly/no trained tin soljas who sit around on bases getting fat and get paid for nothing. Add to that crony comrade commandas and voila, a useless service like all other essential services. Need we say more...?

  • Robin Stobbs - 2013-04-04 18:51

    If one is trained as a soldier then they're trained, and expected, to fight their way out of trouble. That was my training - if you're a peace-keeper (ha ha!) wearing uniform then you should be capable of doing what soldiers are expected to do. What the hack - if we have to rely on these troops to defend us we're cooked!

  • Putco Lebepe - 2013-04-04 18:52

    Lies, lies.....

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 18:52

    Because of greed. Chancellor House stood to gain $80mill a year for 10 years in diamons for weapons and support.

      Feeble Gastro - 2013-04-04 19:19

      Just follow the money... JZ & co and the ANC have misused and abused state resources for personal gain. In fact, they had citisens DIE for it. Despicable people. Despicable political party.

  • Piero Mendace - 2013-04-04 19:22

    And the million dollar question is... what are they deployed for..

      Patricia Bull - 2013-04-04 21:13

      Blood diamonds?

  • Eric Louw - 2013-04-04 19:24

    so if we lie to the government, its a felony, but if they lie to us its politics?

  • Jannie Visagie - 2013-04-04 19:25

    Anyone fight against SANDF is stupid, they on a road of self destruction

  • Bob Bothalezi - 2013-04-04 19:38

    Liar ! Why did you send the additional 200 soldiers.

  • rob.martin.94402343 - 2013-04-04 19:51

    Saw on SABC 3 news, is this a Defence Minister, no wonder kids can thrash us.

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-04 21:40

    This cANCerous government has failed SA, period. Almost a Trillion Rand stolen, defrauded or lost in les than 20 years. Close on 600 000 citizens murdered and hundreds of thousands more raped. cANCer, join us now and watch your world crumble and die.

  • pjthesecond.eldest - 2013-04-05 06:00

    CAR is a dangerous place. Next time you send SANDF members there, send some private security with to keep them safe.

  • Mai Pen Rai - 2013-04-05 06:49

    Any troops sent to a conflict zone should be properly equipped and ready for battle. It is risk management that any competent military leader would address. Enough excuses!

  • Marthinus Strydom Snr - 2013-04-05 07:44

    Eish. They shot at us. That wasn't part of the plan. I mean we thought this was a fancy dress party for the president. I mean the guns don't even have bullets! WTF!

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