Govt failed defence force - FF Plus

2013-04-04 21:06
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - An admission that South African troops were not prepared for attack in the Central African Republic means government failed them, the FF Plus said on Thursday.

"The acknowledgement by the minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, that the national defence force had neither been prepared for or expected the rebels to attack them in the CAR, confirms that the government had failed the defence force," Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald said.

"Through this, the minister acknowledges that there was insufficient support and in particular insufficient information support for the troops in the CAR."

Earlier, Mapisa-Nqakula conceded South African troops were not prepared to deal with an attack in the CAR.

"We were not equipped in a way that would be able to repel that kind of battle," she told Parliament's standing committee on defence.

Thirteen South African soldiers were killed and 27 wounded in the clash with Seleka rebel forces near Bangui on 23 March.

Mapisa-Nqakula suggested there were questions about the military intelligence provided to soldiers on the front-line.

"We never deployed to the CAR to wage a battle. We never anticipated [a battle]."

The minister declined to give details about the withdrawal of troops from the central African country, insisting this was an operational matter.

President Jacob Zuma announced on Wednesday that South African would withdraw its troops from CAR.

Groenewald said there were serious questions to be asked about military intelligence's capability.

"One of these is how the minister and President Jacob Zuma were incorrectly advised before the decision was taken to send troops to the CAR. The information was clearly not accurate and military intelligence has to take the responsibility for this," he said.

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