South Africa - Johannesburg - 15 July 2021- Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on patrol in Alexandra in Johannesburg after thousands of looters were seen in almost all the shops in the area. Picture Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)
South Africa - Johannesburg - 15 July 2021- Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on patrol in Alexandra in Johannesburg after thousands of looters were seen in almost all the shops in the area. Picture Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

Mapisa-Nqakisa cautions against detailing army deployment

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Jul 18, 2021

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DEFENCE Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and generals have called on Parliament, for security reasons, not to use sensitive information by the army during its deployment.

Mapisa-Nqakula told MPs on Sunday it would compromise the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) if all security operations were disclosed in an open meeting with Parliament.

They asked that it be done behind closed doors.

Chief of the SANDF General Rudzani Maphwanya backed Mapisa-Nqakula in not disclosing the full security operations of the army as they try to bring stability to the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the deployment of 25 000 soldiers to curb the violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Mapisa-Nqakula said they have now deployed the soldiers in all major provinces, except the Northern Cape, to provide cover and protection in case of any flare-ups.

She said she was concerned about the level of accountability to Parliament by giving details of the operations of the army’s deployment.

She said this would compromise the security of the SANDF.

“People raise these questions and the answers compromise the security of our security operations,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

Maphwanya also told MPs they were concerned about giving details about the security operations of the army.

“When we provide too much, we put troops in harm’s way. We will request if possible. Let’s provide details that are within the prescripts and do things according to the book. If things are more than what is required, it should be done in a closed session,” said Maphwanya.

MPs agreed that they should not compromise the work and security of the army.

They said the work of the army was vital in maintaining stability.

Co-chairperson of the joint standing committee on defence Elleck Nchabeleng said they fully backed the SANDF and supported their proposal to give information behind closed doors to prevent making it public.

“We know this democracy will never be lost under your watch. As a committee, we are fully behind the SANDF. It is our last line of defence. We will be in line with your request. As members of the committee, we will be sensitive in terms of the questions we ask,” said Nchabeleng.

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