SANDF leaves land without borders; communities must secure themselves
19 July 2019
AfriForum is of the opinion that the admittance of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that the defence force is practically undone leaves the country without borders and therefore without any protection regarding external threats. This follows after Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, and Genl. Solly Shoke, Chief of the SANDF, this week openly admitted in their budget speech in Parliament that the SANDF is undone. This shortly after Genl. Khehla John Sithole, National Police Commissioner, and Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, also recently indicated that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is not capable of doing what is expected of them and cannot comply with its constitutional duty.
These admissions by the heads of the respective institutions, involved with the protection of the citizens and the territory of South Africa, leaves a bitter taste and brings about grave concern. The further statement by Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, that defence force land will be applied for land reform purposes clearly indicates that government is not keen on saving the SANDF from its desperate position.
The unsuccessful implementation of transformation, lack of discipline, intransparent application of funds, lack of maintenance and maladministration are among the points of concern which brought the SANDF to its knees. “The inability of the leader cadre to lead the defence force with commitment has been replaced by the aspiration to reward themselves with top positions,” says Ian Cameron, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety.
To top this, National Treasury has requested that the beleaguered SAPS trim its budget with nearly R6 billion.
Communities are increasingly confronted with the reality that the responsibility for their defensibility and safety lie in their own hands.
“Through the announcement of the minister the SANDF will not only do irreparable damage to their current reputation in the Southern African region, but will also show to the citizenry that they have no will to act in protection and defence of all residents as the Constitution requires.
“The collapse of these core state functions calls for communities to intensify their own ability with community safety structures,” says Cameron.
Issued by Carina Bester, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 19 July 2019