Tone deaf SANDF conducts joint military exercise with Russia

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Affairs
03 Nov 2022 in News

Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbites by Kobus Marais MP.

South Africa has reached a new low on the international stage, which can enhance the risk of being grey listed.

While Ukrainians live in fear of when the next bomb is going to drop on civilian targets, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is happily participating in the so-called Tri-national Maritime Exercise with the Russian navy.

This is yet another terrible error of judgement by the Defence Minister, Thandi Modise, and the South African Government given the world’s opposition to the Russian military transgressions in Ukraine, and the potential consequences for grey listing.

Participation in these military exercises confirms without doubt the South African government’s support to Russia for their illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The UN and countries around the world have publicly condemned this invasion, yet the South African government, who considers itself a human rights champion, has not.

It is mind-boggling that the SANDF spends money on such a joint operation when there are huge defence force budget constraints, with not nearly enough money available for maintenance and acquisition of essential prime mission equipment, essential resources to our soldiers deployed in hostile environments, and for them to protect the integrity of South Africa. The ANC government, including the Minister of Defence and the Commander in Chief of the SANDF, is clearly prepared to sacrifice the safety of our soldiers and our citizens to their knee-jerking to please the Russians.

The DA strongly condemns government’s actions and defence priorities, portraying SA as a country that sides with Russian war criminals. The Minister of Defence and the ANC government must be held accountable for this joint military exercise.