National Security News

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National Security News

Africa South Africa

“Nobody said two” – NSN Stands By Report on SANDF Soldiers in DRC

NSN notes the SANDF press statement of 3 April in response to NSN’s 2 April reporting on SANDF personnel being held in M23’s custody in the DRC.

NSN is an independent publication that fact checks its reporting rigorously.

NSN’s reporting is in the public interest given the deployment of an ill equipped and ill prepared deployment of a too small number of SANDF personnel in a complex foreign conflict in dangerous terrain with impossible mission objectives that puts SANDF personnel needlessly and recklessly in harms way. This has been confirmed by the official casualties that the SANDF tragically already reported.

We note that the SANDF press statement rejects  “ any suggestion that two (2) of the South African soldiers deployed have surrendered to the M23 rebels”. Our reporting did not mention “two (2) soldiers” that “surrendered”. Why does the SANDF focus on the number “two (2)”  if there is no such reporting in the NSN article? Our reporting deliberately made no reference to the numbers of SANDF personnel that are in M23’s custody. Local sources on the ground have reported to NSN that the number of soldiers in the custody of M23 in the DRC is substantially larger than “two (2)”.

We note that the SANDF press statement does not directly deny that any of its personnel is in M23’s custody. Instead, the press statement focuses on the word “surrender” and uses the odd turn of phrase “all SANDF members deployed in the DRC have been accounted for.” Our reporting does not refer to any SANDF soldiers being missing in action. We agree that the SANDF knows exactly how many of its personnel are now in the hands of the rebels and as such “are accounted for”.

National Security News stands by its reporting as accurate and factual. We are confident that the accuracy of our reporting will be borne out by events.