Inquiry launched into why SANDF soldiers were deployed for ANC's January 8 celebrations

2020-03-06 13:47
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Deaan Vivier/Netwerk24) (deaan vivier)

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Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula instructed the chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to conduct an inquiry into why members of the military were seen in and around Kimberley around the time of the ANC's January 8 statement.

She also said action must be taken against those involved.

At the time, News24 reported that several SANDF soldiers - armed and in full army gear – were spotted patrolling the Northern Cape capital.

TimesLive reported that it was only after questions were sent to a SANDF spokesperson that the soldiers were recalled.

UPDATE | Government denies that defence force staff are 'unwilling' to man plane to fetch South Africans from China

In written parliamentary questions to Mapisa-Nqakula, FF Plus leader Pieter Groenewald asked whether President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the army to Kimberley, and DA MP Kobus Marais asked whether Mapisa-Nqakula authorised the deployment of soldiers to Kimberley.

Section 201 of the Constitution allows the president to deploy the army in South Africa to assist the police in limited, non-military tasks, which include tackling crimes that pose a threat to the constitutional order, border protection and serious crimes.

"There was no deployment under Section 201 of the Constitution," read Mapisa-Nqakula's response to Groenewald.

"No, I did not authorise deployment for any members under the Defence Act, 2002," read her response to Marais.

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"I view this matter in a very serious light and have instructed the chief of the South African National Defence Force to institute a Board of Inquiry and to take action against those involved. I will report back to Parliament on the outcome and actions taken following the completion of the Board of Inquiry," read Mapisa-Nqakula's reply to both Groenewald and Marais.

Marais also had the following questions for Mapisa-Nqakula:

  • What were the costs of deploying the soldiers;
  • From which budget was the deployment of the soldiers paid;
  • For what period were the soldiers deployed; and
  • For what purpose were the soldiers deployed.

These questions remained unanswered.

Read more on:    anc  |  sandf  |  kimberley  |  politics

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