News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday June 19th 2019

DA gives Sisulu a tongue lashing

Yugendree Naidoo

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu received a tongue lashing today (04/05/2010) from the DA in Parliament, who likened her to apartheid defence minister Magnus Malan.

The scathing attack by DA shadow defence minister Dave Maynier came after Sisulu delivered her 2010 Budget Vote speech in the Old Assembly in which she described a department severely constrained by a lack of funds.

She said her R34 million budget fell short of what was needed for a properly functioning defence force, adding that it needed to receive about two percent of national GDP rather than the 1.3 percent currently allocated.

But she got short thrift from the official opposition.

Although Maynier praised her for her hardline stance stance that there would “not be enough towels to wipe the blood off the floor” if the department did not submit a clean audit this year, he went on to accuse her of having “deeply authoritarian tendencies” and that she always chose “secrecy” over “transparency”.

“The truth is that there has been so much democratic rollback at the defence department that the minister is in danger of turning into a modern-day Magnus Malan,” he said.

Maynier questioned the necessity for the department to be spending money on a VIP Lounge at OR Tambo International Airport, a fleet of new luxury vehicles and 36 military attaches “who serve in all sorts of obscure nooks-and-crannies around the world”.

“Too often we are spending our ‘bucks’ on ‘bing’, rather than spending our ‘bucks’ on ‘bang’.

In addition he said it was regretful that the oversight committee “knows very little about the state of the defence force because the minister has surrounded it with a ring of virtually impenetrable steel.”

Maynier said the minister had, in the last two years, failed to respond to parliamentary questions, had never briefed parliament on the defence force operations in support of the police during the World Cup, had never produced copies of interim reports – particularly the so-called ‘ticking time bomb report produced by the Interim National Defence Force Commission, and had never produced a copy of the report of the Ministerial Task Team on Military Veterans.

Maynier said the defence force was in crisis, illustrated by Air Force Chief General Carlos Gagiano report that the South African Air Force could only afford to fly the Hawk fighter jets purchased for R15.7 billion for 2000 hours per year when required flying time was double that.

“Therefore we have spent R15.7 billion purchasing fighter jets that we cannot afford to properly maintain and operate,” he said. – West Cape NewsDA gives Sisulu a tongue lashing

Tags: malan, sadf, sisulu

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