SA, Namibia talk defence, security


The South Africa Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security has held its 11th session, noting “with satisfaction” the continued cooperation by the two countries in the areas of defence, public and state security.

The conference took place Wednesday and yesterday at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The South African delegation was led by Dr Siyabonga Cwele, Minister of State Security and included Thabang Makwetla, Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Deputy Minister of Correctional Services, Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Makhotso Sotyu, Deputy Minister of Police, Yvette Myakayaka-Manzini, High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Namibia and senior government officials.

The Namibian delegation was led by Major General (Rtd) Charles Namoloh, Minister of Defence and included Marten N Kapewasha, High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia to the Republic of South Africa, Elise Auino, Consul General of the Republic of Namibia in Cape Town and senior government officials.

The JPCDS reviewed the implementation of decisions taken at the 10th session of the JPCDS which took place in Swakopmund, Namibia in 2010 and noted progress made in the implementation thereof. The commission noted with appreciation the successful number of joint training activities between South Africa and Namibia. On navy-to-navy cooperation the commission expressed its satisfaction at the level of progress made between the two defence forces. “The commission felt strongly that the success of navy-to-navy training between our two countries is an important building block towards the implementation of the SADC Maritime Security Strategy which has been endorsed by the SADC Heads of State.

The Commission also agreed that liaison forums between the defence forces be improved to work out ways of conducting joint patrols on land, air and maritime borders. “The commission commended good cooperation of the law enforcement agencies of the two countries in combating trans-border crime. In this regard the commission committed both countries to the priorities of combating the spectre of the illicit economy in the region. Building on the success of the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World tournament which was relatively free of criminal activities as a result of cooperation between the two countries and other SADC member states the commission believed that working together we can enhance the overall security of our region.”

The commission expressed its confidence that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP17 scheduled to take place in Durban, South Africa will advance humankind’s endeavours to mitigate the threat of climate change to human security.

The commission noted that the security situation in the SADC region remains relatively stable characterised by recent successful elections in Zambia, Seychelles, regional councils and local authorities elections in Namibia as well as local government elections which took place in South Africa early this year, 2011. The commission further expressed its hope that the upcoming general elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo will be peaceful, free and fair reflective of the current peaceful situation in the SADC region.

The Namibian delegation extended an invitation to the South African delegation to the 12th Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security to be held in Namibia on a date and venue to be announced. The South African delegation accepted the invitation.

Pic: Namibian air force officers at a recent SADC exercise, Blue Cluster