Defence committee begins visit to SA troops in the DRC


The Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans has begun a visit to the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) contingent deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the Monusco United Nation peacekeeping mission there.

The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans said the fifteen member delegation departed on 25 March from Air Force Base Waterkloof for Kinsasha and will be in the DRC for a week. Whilst there the committee, led by Stanley Motimele, will interact with the United Nation Mission and then proceed to Goma where SANDF members are stationed.

The Portfolio Committee will be back in South Africa on 29 March.

The committee will discuss a number of issues with the UN, including the future of the Rooivalk attack helicopter with the mission and possible troop cuts.

Monusco’s mandate will be expiring at the end of March and although the UN Security Council is discussing renewing it, uncertainties remain over its mandate and future, especially with elections coming up.

The South African force in the DRC typically comprises around 1 400 soldiers, vehicles, helicopters and other equipment. 5 SA Infantry Battalion is currently serving with Monusco’s Force Intervention Brigade.