WATCH | 'The president has spoken, it was an attempted insurrection' – defence minister makes U-turn

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  • Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula made an about-turn on whether or not there was an insurrection attempt in SA.
  • The minister said her comments were not intended to undermine President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • She added that she was not trying to create "mischief".

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has made an about-turn on the unrest in South Africa, saying it was indeed an attempted insurrection.

Her correction comes after she told Parliament on Sunday that she did not believe it was an attempted insurrection and that the unrest showed signs of a counter-revolution in the form of thuggery and criminality.

She said an insurrection must have a face if it was against government.

Speaking to the media in Durban at the SAPS Training Academy in Chatsworth, Mapisa-Nqakula made a U-turn saying she was not trying to go against the president.

ALSO READ | No way Mapisa-Nqakula did not know what Ramaphosa knew, Deputy Defence Minister says

"The president has spoken. It was an attempted insurrection. I confined myself to (the term) counter-revolutionary but ultimately, remember, any element of counter-revolution ultimately may as well lead to insurrection in a country," she added.

She said she used the term counter-revolution because it was defined as "undermining all authorities of the state and country".

"If you do that, you may as well tomorrow mobilise everybody and say, look, this is the direction we are taking. I think when I made that point (comments on insurrection), that was the point I was making.

"There was never a deliberate or mischievous making on my side to deliberately contradict the commander-in-chief, particularly because I am a member of the National Security Council. I also provide reports on behalf of my team to the National Security Council," Mapisa-Nqakula said.

She said any assertion that she was contradicting Ramaphosa was "mischievous".

"I think he would know I am not the kind of person who will deliberately create that impression and would deliberately divide the country and undermine his authority."

Mapisa-Nqakula said the decision of the National Security Council was that "there was an attempted insurrection".

"I am saying to you, for any insurrection, you will always have elements of counter-revolution which point to a direction of insurrection. There was no contradiction."

She said a News24 article highlighting her comments did not add context.

She said:

As I was briefing the Joint Standing Committee on Defence, you did not put context with how I raised the matter. The issue was not about coming out in defiance or contradiction of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. I would not do that. I am not the kind to do that.

"For my comfort and comfort for those who put me here to appreciate there was no mischief from my side by making that kind of statement (sic). There was never a deliberate effort to undermine the authority of the commander-in-chief.

"I knew and of course I sit in the National Security Council, but I also give briefings to the council. Anyone who questions my loyalty and allegiance to the organisation or even my integrity as a result of this matter is misplaced."

She said she will not defy the president at this late stage of her life.

"I would not develop that kind of tendency in the sunset years of my life. It is unacceptable that anyone would want to cast aspersions on me."

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