SANDF denies CAR troop build-up

2013-04-03 12:44

Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) denied reports on Wednesday suggesting it was massing troops in central Africa.

"The SANDF is not involved in any build-up of forces as reported," spokesperson Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said.

This came as President Jacob Zuma and a South African international relations and security contingent attended an Economic Community of Central African States (Eccas) summit in Chad.

Thirteen SANDF soldiers died and 27 were wounded in fighting in the Central African Republic (CAR) on 23 and 24 March.

Of the 27 South African soldiers wounded in the fighting, 10 remained in hospital, said Mabanga.

Planes, troops

Beeld reported on Wednesday that Gripen fighter planes, Oryx and Rooivalk helicopters, and three Russian freight carriers had been flying to Entebbe in Uganda, and to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Some left from Bloemfontein and others from Waterkloof Air Force base.

The newspaper reported South African troops were being deployed in Gemena in the DRC, 180km from the CAR capital Bangui.

The Times reported similar claims of regrouping in the DRC on its front page.

However, on inside pages, reporters in the CAR said military sources there stated claims of South African troops massing in Uganda and the DRC were "not credible".

Another source told their reporters there were now only about 15 South African soldiers at the military base at Bangui airport, and this would be reduced to a handful of liaison officers in a few days.

Their source had also observed South African Hercules aircraft land and take off on Monday and Tuesday.

Troops in DRC

Commenting on reports in The Times that more South African soldiers would also be sent to the DRC, Mabanga said this was in line with a United Nations resolution for an intervention force there, following the deterioration of the security situation in the east of the DRC.

A number of meetings were held on the security situation there and the South African government had pledged to contribute forces from July, said Mabanga.

"We have not [yet], as SANDF, moved any troops or forces to effect that resolution or commitment," he said.

The SANDF would wait for direction from government on whether to withdraw its forces from CAR.

"We are waiting for instructions from the commander-in-chief and the head of the Republic," he said.

  • Peter Ndamase - 2013-04-03 12:51

    The ANC is pissing in the graves of freedom fighters.

      Magda Henning - 2013-04-03 13:11

      Sheperd, defenitely not Zuma

      Tums Down - 2013-04-03 15:30

      the ANC are not pissing us (ANC voteers) off... Our lives have improved dramatically since 1994.. - VIVA ANC >>>

      Tums Down - 2013-04-03 15:31

      @ Magda.. Better go check .. You'll never know... Can we call you "Happy henning"?

  • Punungwe - 2013-04-03 12:53

    Better wait a bit longer. Zuma is not particularly well known for making up his mind and acting fast.

      Paul Phil - 2013-04-03 13:12

      Giggling in Msholozi style!!!

  • Fdee Psy Dalana - 2013-04-03 12:55

    articles on CAR should start falling under the gossip column.

      Paul Phil - 2013-04-03 13:09

      Damn!! U so right,faceless sources,dnt knw wat to blieve anymo.

  • nhlapop - 2013-04-03 12:57

    I dont care anymore. Question has been asked. Why SA sent the troops to CAR, when are we going to learn that our coutry come first. Lets focus on our coutry and leave CAR alone because Priesident of that coutry dont want to sign peace agreement.

  • Desilusionada - 2013-04-03 13:01

    "We are waiting for instructions from the commander-in-chief and the head of the Republic," he said." And He, (the commander-in-chief and the head of the Republic), is waiting for the outcome of a meeting in Chad to tell Him, what to do? Its clear, He was told that the position in CAR was untenable, He was told that this dictator will fall, He decided to grandstand, He is now embarrassed, and He is now trying to save face. All this because He wanted to be the next Mbeki, which He is clearly not. Did he want to try prove something to the AU? He is probably now blaming the Army. (See one General go retire soon) Or to his previous wife?......

  • Simthembile Zembe - 2013-04-03 13:01

    Our president must issue a directive seeking to withdraw our soldiers from that country. We cannot be on the side of dictators. We are a democracy.

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-03 14:48

      Totally agree with you.

  • Sarah - 2013-04-03 13:02

    Never thought there would come a time in post-Apartheid South Africa where our army goes to another African country to kill their African brothers.

      werner.nel.712 - 2013-04-03 13:31

      The people voted for it....

  • Vaughan - 2013-04-03 13:05

    Would love to know what would happen if South Africa ever came under attack. Probably take about 6 months for the army to work out if it is going to attack or run away. What a joke...

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-03 13:11

    Let them sort out their own mess up there. We have enough problems down here. I don't see them helping us, except for their drug dealers and vagrants that come and sponge of our resources and enslave our women and children. Hamba.

  • Thulani Ngomane - 2013-04-03 13:11

    you are not going to hear any truth from the news people from now on. We are at war.

      Miguel Capelo - 2013-04-03 14:57

      That might have been true in the nineties. But with the technology today, the truth comes out much more quickly. Search and you will find. With wikileaks, satellites and transparent flows of information, the days of keeping people stupid is over. Disinformation, counter intelligence and noise is a problem sure (Americans have tried this and failed), but if you find a reputable source that is interested in TRUTH (and I promise you they exist)you will see that the nature of problem is the ORWELLIAN principle of PIGS in power sending others to die for their greed.

      Patrick Motaung - 2013-04-03 15:42

      It's people like you that leads our beautiful country to such an embarassment. Elections are around the corner and hopefully peace loving people of this country will make an informed decisions to take it to prosperity. It is clearly showing that we are going down the drains by greedy mafias of this country.

  • Sthembiso Jali - 2013-04-03 13:13

    This is realy annoying now, media houses are busy drawing conclusions in every rumour or speculation. WTF if realy going on..? one minute its this next minute its another. mxm.

      Sthembiso Jali - 2013-04-03 13:29

      no jamba this is pure sensationalism

      Tlotlo Phele - 2013-04-03 13:44

      True , the media seems to be taking us for a ride

  • Cane Corso - 2013-04-03 13:13

    Send these foreigners packing and use those troops to patrol our borders. They made their beds, they must sleep in it. Not our problem. We have enough of our own.

  • Linds Ron-House - 2013-04-03 13:38

    Military plans are never discussed in the media, so our generals are perfectly correct to deny everything. Secondly, if Aouth Africa is serous about its endevours to be leaders in the African continent and eventually earn a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, then it cannot avoid getting involved in African conflicts. We campaigned for Dr Dlamini-Zuma just a few months ago. That comes wi responsibility. Let our armed forces regroup and go show those rebels a thing or two. All other rebel and terrorist groups in Africa must learn never to mess with South Africa again.

      Vaughan - 2013-04-03 13:49

      @Linds Ron-House, the South African army had to retreat from Maseru back in 98 when Lesotho was going through a bad election. So if they can't even defend themselves from civilians in Lesotho, how on earth would they ever go up against a rebel group?

      regte.boer - 2013-04-03 15:08

      That does not include sending the army to guard private ANC mining interests in other countries.

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-04-03 15:16

      @Regte, firstly the ANC as an organization has no mining or other interests in CAR. Secondly, it is not uncommon for countries to protect key assets and even private citizens in foreign territories. The reason why French troops have been in CAR for decades is exactly that. To protect French assets and citizens working in CAR. They even control the only viable airport. The Americans, British and others will charter planes (at great cost) to evacuate their private citizens from conflict zones.

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-04-03 15:24

      @Regte, my honest opinion is that South African business has significant interests in CAR and any sudden regime change would threaten this assets. We saw the rebel leader already announced that he would review all thos contracts. This is not what any business leader wants to hear. SA, whether wrongfully or not, tried to maintain the status quo in order to ensure that SA business do not lose their investments in CAR. As it has been said here by someone else, the biggest winners in the war between CAR rebels and SA is France. They will now take full control of those assets and the rebel leaders will become rich while the population starves.

      NKAISANA - 2013-04-03 16:45

      Mkhondoweziswe were the terrorist today they are in goverment,so what is the different between the rebells and Anc terrorist

      Linds Ron-House - 2013-04-03 19:47

      @Nkaisansa, you confused me a bit because I don't know what "Mkhondoweziswe" is. Maybe you meant Umkhonto Wesizwe. However, the major difference is that the ANC was elected into power through democratic elections.

      Marius Barnard - 2013-04-03 21:49

      Linds, unless you were there yourself I tend to disagree with you - but seeing that I was not part of the pathetic Lesotho debacel - all I can say is my tv showed South African "soldiers" running like wild gooses ... I remember some clotkasrils sweating like a a Durban July horse when the Basotho's - armed with blankets and knobkieries - aproached them !

  • Vusi Nhlabathi - 2013-04-03 13:38

    BEELD and THE TIMES just reported this morning that SA has sent more troops in central Africa, but brigadier Xolani Mabanga has denied the the the media trying to create a false story again....hhai suka

      regte.boer - 2013-04-03 15:09

      No the general is lying in typical ANC fashion.

  • Simphiwe Tladi - 2013-04-03 13:41

    I think it's time the SA media stops making us fools...

      regte.boer - 2013-04-03 15:09

      If you believe the ANC you are the fool.

  • Dlayani Tivani - 2013-04-03 13:53

    Where is the Truth here ? .S.African Borders now r wide open for a Criminals to come an kill our FARMERS,Rob Our BANKS,Hijack our CARS en Sell DRUGS freely without fear .while our Soldiers were send to every corner of Africa to PROTECT Private Bussines interest .

      regte.boer - 2013-04-03 15:10

      Agree 100%.

      Ernica Stanford - 2013-04-03 15:20

      One of the best comments I've read.

  • Umali Phiri - 2013-04-03 13:54

    lets do lyk wat Zimbabwe done in DRC in other way never under estimate your opponent

  • Mzwandile Majola - 2013-04-03 14:19

    if only people can stop directing the CAR incident to the president and accept that no S African soldier should be killed and we say sorry we withdraw no,let army bosses regroup and teach those power hungry rebels a lesson child soldiers or not let them die cos they have killed our own.

  • Johan Van Der Vyver - 2013-04-03 14:39

    Who is flying these Gripen aircraft? Ours are in mothball with nobody able to pilot them!

  • Erna Westdyk - 2013-04-03 14:51

    Is there anyone who knows what's happening?

      Tshepo Seepe Semenya - 2013-04-03 23:15

      What is happening is that the media confuses us more. Is SA pulling out or reinforcing its army in CAR?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-04-03 15:00

    When they deny, I don't believe them.

  • veldt66 - 2013-04-03 15:15

    Rooivalk is not combat ready, Gripens hve no pilots! S.A is unable even to fly training missions on these jets

  • Robert Bocking - 2013-04-03 15:16

    A SANDF trooper at East Rand Show told me that they where going to send some gear to Uganda this week including military communications unit.

  • Makgopa Samuel - 2013-04-03 15:35

    after the zuma meeting, it is going to be chaos in car. we are not making noise we are mourning. we must avenge our soldiers brutal death or else no country will respect our army anymore.

  • Nigel Burgess - 2013-04-03 15:50

    I really hope these clowns who can't run their own country properly are not going to take SA down the war path into a losing battle in Central Africa.

  • Thomas Nkuna - 2013-04-03 15:55

    No truth in politics, if this politicians don't get what they want they kill. Unfortunately our soldiers are the victims in CAR.

  • NKAISANA - 2013-04-03 16:42

    Zuma help Mphanama village to have a proper road.He must just stop interfering in another country's problem

  • Eric Louw - 2013-04-04 15:53

    peterr ndamase, i agree with you. if there is anybody that should know how it feels to fight for freedom of equal rights, it should be the leaders of anc. but it seems like they forgot where they came from. they are working together with a dictator and not even under the AU or UN. so who is gaining from this? where is the freedom fighters now?

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