Minister visits SANDF members in DRC

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Pretoria - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where she is conducting an oversight visit to the mission areas where South African troops are deployed.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is a component of the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) deployed by the United Nations Organisation in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Minister will meet with South African military personnel in Goma, headquarters of MONUSCO, the largest UN peacekeeping operation, on Wednesday, and later visit the city of Beni which is located in North Kivu DRC. 

The visit, according to spokesperson Joy Peter, will give SANDF troops an opportunity to engage with the Minister on issues affecting them. This will provide her with first-hand insights into both the positive and negative impact of deployment in an effort to devise suitable executive level interventions, where necessary. 

“The Minister has seen it imperative to conduct oversight visits to mission areas where our troops are deployed in support of peacekeeping missions and international obligations,” Peter said.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula will also use the visit as an opportunity to spend time with female troops in commemoration of International Women’s Day.

Women in the military face a variety of challenges as opposed to their male counterparts, especially when they have to balance duty to their country and personal life in a foreign land.

“It is with this view also that Minister Mapisa-Nqakula would like to set aside time during her trip to not only appreciate female troops, but afford them a platform to ventilate issues affecting women soldiers in mission areas, and hopefully together find sustainable solutions,” explained Peter.

Minister Mapisa-Nqakula will also hand out military care packages to SANDF members. –

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