Armed South African soldiers chat with a man in Begoua, 17 km from capital Bangui, in this still image taken from video. Photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - South Africa’s space agency has taken satellite images of the Central African Republic (CAR) for the SANDF, but officials

are unwilling to divulge reasons for such a move.

In a written reply to Parliament, Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom last week confirmed the SA National Space Agency (Sansa) supplied images to “various government departments and entities of state, including but not limited to the SANDF”, but said the provision of such images was confidential.

Hanekom was responding to a written question by DA MP Junita Kloppers-Lourens about whether Sansa had supplied satellite images of the CAR to the SANDF, the minister of defence or the president between December 1 and March 31.

Kloppers-Lourens also asked for details of any such images.

South African troops deployed in the CAR were attacked by rebels in March, and 13 were killed.

“In the case of the SANDF, the stakeholder provides Sansa with the co-ordinates of the desired image, and therefore the accurate geographic location of the area of interest could be better responded to by the SANDF,” said Hanekom.

He added that Sansa did not supply images to the minister or the president.

The Star