DA calls for full investigation into SA Peacekeepers arrested in the Congo

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
13 Oct 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kobus Marais MP

The Minister of Defence, Thandi Modise, has yet another crisis unfolding under her watch as eight South African National Defence Force soldiers serving as UN peacekeepers in the Congo, have been arrested and suspended following serious misconduct reports.

While the DA welcomes the investigation by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services into claims of sexual exploitation and abuse, it is incumbent upon the Minister to take responsibility for the alleged misconduct and lack of discipline from the SANDF members.

From the still controversial Lady R incident, the recent tragic deaths of submariners at sea and soldiers in Upington and Lohatla, to the latest claims of serious misconduct of SANDF members in the Congo, the Minister is clearly failing to effectively manage her portfolio. There is also a complete lack of accountability for the breakdown in discipline and glaring gaps in command and control.

The DA calls for a full internal investigation into the shocking claims against the SANDF soldiers in the Congo including the action or lack thereof of the South African National Defence Force officers in charge of the mission.

The Minister needs to know that the Defence Portfolio is more than just an opportunity to dress up and attend parades, it deals with real life and death issues of military personnel and civilians within our borders and beyond. The Minister owes it to the brave men and women who risk their lives in the defence of our country and our democracy not to reduce our armed forces to an international embarrassment.

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