The civilian top leadership of the Department of Defence will be flying the flag in foreign climes over the next two weeks with their joint responsibilities of safety, security and a strong South African defence industry at the top of the agenda.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula leaves today for Russia to attend the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS). She was invited by Sergei Shoigu, Russian Federation Defence Minister, and will be one of an expected 80 senior defence ministry representatives from around the world in the Russian capital for the top level conference.
Mapisa-Nqakula will, according to the Defence Ministry’s Joy Peter, present a paper on key threats to maritime security in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). South Africa and Mozambique currently run a joint counter-piracy tasking in the Mozambique Channel – Operation Copper – that has been extended for another year at the start of April by President Jacob Zuma, Commander-in-Chief of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
While she is in Moscow, deputy defence and military veterans minister, Kebby Maphatsoe, will be in Rio de Janeiro at the LAAD 2015 defence and security exhibition.
He heads up a South African delegation that includes representatives from Armscor and the Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Industries Association of South Africa (AMD). They will call on South African exhibitors including Denel, GEW Technologies, Reutech Communications, Stepahead Military Headwear, System Engineering Telemetry Process, Tellumat, Twiga Services and Logistics and Zebra Armour.
Maphatsoe’s spokesman, Mangaliso Khonza, said the deputy minister will also visit exhibitions of other BRICS countries at LAAD.
Mapisa-Nqakula leaves Moscow to join up with President Zuma’s delegation on an official visit to Indonesia. She will join the delegation in Jakarta and on April 22 leaves for Turkey where she will attend the Commonwealth and Ireland Services’ Commemoration of the Centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. The event will be held at the Cape Helles Commonwealth Memorial in Çanakkale on April 24.