Sisulu to meet Agri-SA


The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans is to meet the national and provincial leadership of Agri-SA, the farmers’ lobby, this week to discuss border security and other matters.

She told the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans that the “troops are already at the border, with more troops joining them everyday.” She added that as more soldiers deployed along the borders “the number of [police] members will redeploy to focus on crime prevention.”

She indicated that the SANDF is deploying on the border with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

The minister also condemned the partial and selective release of information by the Democratic Alliance (DA) on the purchase of vehicles for use by the South African National Defence Force. She said the DA unfairly wanted to create an impression that the SANDF that has a passion for luxury cars.

She said the SANDF has more than 40 000 vehicles and every day they purchase vehicles for use in their operations. She added that the SANDF has not purchased any vehicles referred to by the DA, but has contacted manufacturers for quotations on a number of vehicles including buses and trucks, and the DA has chosen to omit that fact because it will not be sensational enough to grab media headlines. Sisulu added that it is a sad day when members of Parliament distort information to grab media headlines. “The people who voted us as public representatives expect more than grand standing and sensationalism, the DA can do better, and they continue to disappoint me every day” She said.

The SANDF contacted manufacturers to get quotations for vehicles to be used during the coming soccer world cup, these vehicles would be used for visiting military dignitaries and Presidents that the SANDF has the obligation to offer protection and hospitality. After the World Cup the vehicles will also be used to upgrade the current VIP fleet that is old and aging as part of the normal programme to upgrade transport infrastructure in the SANDF.

The Minister was accompanied by the recently appointed Secretary for Defence, Mpumi Mpofu; Lt General Themba Matanzima, Chief of Joint Operations; Director General of the Department of Military Veterans, Tsepe Motumi; Chairman of Armscor, Popo Molefe and Acting CEO of Armscor, Sipho Mkhwanazi, advisers and senior managers.
“As minister I stand ready to engage with the committee on all this matters, we are very much happy with progress made in the implementation of ministerial priorities as detailed in our 2009 budget vote speech, a lot of work has been done and the defence family must now prepare for full implementation of our programmes in the next coming financial year,” she said.