What happened to the Defence Force the ANC inherited?

Dr Pieter Groenewald

In 1994, former President Nelson Mandela said himself that the ANC inherited a good and disciplined Defence Force. Today the question can rightly be asked what happened to this Defence Force, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, chief spokesperson on Defence for the FF plus says.

Dr. Groenewald said during today’s budget debate on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that the Defence Force was thereafter expanded and modernised with an arms acquisition program of R30 billion which eventually escalated to R70 billion.

In the process, amongst others, more sophisticated Gripen fighter jets and submarines were bought which is comparable the best in the world.

“The military inheritance of the ANC in 1994 was good and modern. But what has happened in the mean time? We lost soldiers in the Central African Republic while Gripens were hidden away in store rooms.

“In another attack we saw how a submarine dove into the bottom of the sea. What happened to standards and discipline?

“We read about a female colonel who walks around in shopping malls in her pink slippers and uniform while on duty. In Oudtshoorn an officer activated soldiers of the Defence Force’s reaction unit with sharp point ammunition and brought it into conflict with the South African Police to release a companion.

“Action was apparently taken against these members, but which steps were taken against them? That officer who nearly had his men clash with the police committed sedition. He should have been dismissed immediately.

“That incident should also show the government that un-disciplined soldiers are capable of anything, even a coup d’état.

“With all the abovementioned, one can only ask: What happened to the professional, disciplined Defence Force inheritance? The public will have to be answered on this,” Dr. Groenewald said.


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