SA heads SADC defence and security body

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South Africa was unanimously elected as chair of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC’s) top defence and security structure at its just ended two day summit in Zimbabwe.

President Jacob Zuma, also Commander-in-Chief of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and currently the continent’s prime advocate of the nascent African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC) force, will head the troika responsible for leading the SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation until the next Summit. This will be in Gaborone next August.

Lesotho Prime Minister Thomas Thabane is deputy chair of the organ with Namibia, in the form of its President Hifikepunye Pohamba, making up the threesome.

Speaking after being named chairman Zuma said: “We have accepted the responsibility entrusted to us by the Summit to chair this SADC Organ. Our capacity to chair it is in line with our foreign policy, which champions the African Agenda aimed at bringing development, peace and security to the continent. We cannot achieve a developed, stable region without peace and security”.

Pohamba, outgoing chairman of the politics, defence and security body, said the southern African region “generally” was peaceful and stable in the period under review by the Summit.