SA missions 'would be peaceful under Cope'

2013-04-27 17:00

Mosiuoa-Lekota ((Sapa))

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Johannesburg - South Africa would actively participate in peace missions and not war if it was under the rule of the Congress of the People, its leader Mosioua Lekota said on Saturday.

"Under Cope, political leaders and military commanders of SA National Defence Force would be trained to know that they may only go out of South Africa equipped to contribute to peace but not armed to take lives of others," he said at a Freedom Day event in Sedibeng on Saturday.

"Under the administration of Cope, no young South Africans will be deployed outside South Africa in missions where they may engage in activities of war, where they may have to kill or be killed."

He was referring to the incident where 13 South African soldiers were killed on March 23 when they were attacked by rebel fighters in the Central African Republic. Another 27 were wounded.

The SANDF troops were sent to the CAR under an agreement between South Africa and the then CAR president Francois Bozize.

The soldiers were supposed to have been helping with training, but some reports suggested they were there to guard business interests. Government has since faced criticism about the reasons behind the troop deployment to CAR, amid accusations of dodgy deals.

Lekota said Cope would have followed South African domestic law and international law, which prescribes to peaceful resolution of problems.

On Freedom Day, Lekota paid tribute to all race groups, and quoted former president Nelson Mandela on a speech he gave during Freedom Day celebrations in 1995.

Lekota promised better service delivery should Cope be elected into power in the 2014 elections.

"Under Cope all...young people are given the requisite education and training, they will become effective partners of government in building proper homes for their families and take their aging fathers and mothers out of the shacks," said Lekota.

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