File photo by Matlhodi Madibana.

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has conceded that the estimated cost of deploying South African troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) for five years is R1.26 billion and not the R65 million he announced last month.

Zuma announced on January 7 – as rebels were advancing on the CAR capital Bangui – that he had authorised the sending of 400 SANDF troops to the country from January 2, 2013 to March 31, 2018.

He told Parliament the same day the estimated cost of the deployment was R65m.

The DA said at the time this figure could not possibly be true.

Zuma told Parliament on Friday that the R65m covered the deployment only until March 31 this year. He said the SANDF had estimated the cost of the deployment after that would be R21m a month.

“This means that the real cost of the employment is estimated to be R1.26bn,” DA defence spokesman David Maynier said yesterday.

“We have to get to the bottom of why we are planning to sink… R1.26bn over five years into the Central African Republic.”

Foreign Editor