Less than 20 international visits in 2013/14 for Defence Minister and Deputy


Executing her duties as Defence and Military Veterans Minister of South Africa saw Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula undertake 15 international visits in the 2013/14 financial year, with Africa the primary venue.

A two day visit to Kenya in July last year to attend a bilateral meeting on defence co-operation matters was the first of eight trips into Africa. Her other African destinations were Malawi (August 2013), Mozambique (September 2013), Senegal (October 2013), Democratic Republic of Congo (September 2013), Namibia (November 2013), Zimbabwe (November 2013) and Ethiopia (January 2014).

With the exception of Namibia, where she was part of the South African delegation to the inauguration of the Namibia/South Africa Bi-national Commission, all her African visits were to attend either bilateral defence co-operation meetings or joint permanent defence and security commission meetings.

Overseas visits were to Russia, in May last year, where Mapisa-Nqakula attended a bilateral defence co-operation meeting. A statement issued by her office indicated she was in Moscow in January 2013 to “strengthen bilateral co-operation between the two countries in the area of defence”.

July 2013 saw her visit the United States, also for a bilateral meeting on defence co-operation matters. Her next foreign port of call was Malaysia in August and then in September she was back in the US. All three these visits were, according to the Department of Defence 2013/14 annual report, for bilateral meetings on defence co-operation. In November last year Mapisa-Nqakula was in Dubai for another bilateral defence co-operation meeting followed by two more before the financial year ended.

Her final foreign visits were to France in December 2013 and to Spain in February this year, also for the by now ubiquitous ‘bilateral defence co-operation meetings’.

New Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Kebby Maphatsoe, did not undertake any official foreign visits during the period under review. This is because his appointment was only made effective on May 26, 2014.

His predecessor, Thabang Makwetla, was abroad four times.

He was in Tanzania in July 2013 for the 15th meeting of AU Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security and in October 2013 attended the Crans Montana Forum Extraordinary session & International Summit on Transnational Crime.

September last year saw him in the United Kingdom for the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition and in November he was part of the South African delegation to the Asian Defence and Security Exhibition in Thailand.