Note by Marc Aupiais
According to the IOL (Independent Newspapers) news group- of South Africa- multiple experts on military matters- have warned that South Africa could handle only the most "minor" of Defence crisis.
Jane's Defence Weekly Southern Africa correspondent Helmoed-Romer Heitman, Henri Boshoff of the Institute of Security Studies in Pretoria, retired Brigadier-General George Kruys of the University of Pretoria, and Professor Renfrew Christie, dean of research at the University of the Western Cape have all raised serious concerns about the state of the South African Army.
It has been warned that if piracy moves south- that our navy is not capable of patrolling the Mozambique Channel to protect commercial shipping, that should Zimbabwe collapse- our army would not be capable of intervening, that taking the police off border patrol would be deadly- and that if events turn sour in Darfur- that it would be hard to evacuate our troops.
South African troops situated throughout Africa- have been credited with a deep stabilising influence- but soldiers are ageing, equipment is reportedly unserviceable, and funding is scarce- in comparison to the mammoth tasks demanded of South African soldiers in multiple giant frontiers throughout some of the most dangerous hot spots on the African Continent.
Defence Minister: Lindiwe Sisulu (appointed by the ANC [African National Congress]- ruling party) has expressed confidence in the readiness of the South African National Defence Force, according to IOL.
The Official Opposition of the Republic of South Africa, the DA (Democratic Alliance), disagrees with the Defence Minister. Their shadow Minister of Defence: Mr David Maynier claims that South Africa must take action least it experience: "soldiers without vehicles, ships without sailors, planes without pilots, and military hospitals without doctors".
A study a while back warned that a smaller deployment of South African troops Up North on the continent- could lead to dire consequences and destabilization. South African troops which were deployed in Burundi are credited with the stabilisation of the country, as South African diplomacy throughout the continent has been credited with ending wars.
The nay sayers seem to believe that either the army should be funded in a manner they would see as adequate: for its mammoth tasks- or that it should be used in what they would see as: more economically wise matters, or in a more economic manner.
IOL (Secular; Independent; South African) 02 / 08 | August / 2009