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SANDF members to remain in peacekeeping deployment amid sexual abuse probe

The country had one of the highest incidents of abuses by armed troops, but Mapisa-Nqakula said it was still highly regarded.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Monday South African troops would remain in peacekeeping deployment, despite the battered image of the country due to sexual abuse allegations.

The country had one of the highest incidents of abuse by armed troops, but Mapisa-Nqakula said it was still highly regarded.

The minister launched a task team to investigate new and existing cases, analyse their findings and determine if the sentences fit the crimes.

Since 2015, two United Nations reports showed how South African troops bought sex with jewellery, televisions, and even shoes. Another report found that African and French peacekeepers sexually exploited children in the Central African Republic.

Mapisa-Nqakula said South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members who are implicated would be prosecuted.

“People who do these kinds of things do not belong to the SANDF. I also know that the defence force is not a structure in the air – we come from this society and where we live there is patriarchy,” she said.

She said despite the damning reports, the peacekeeping deployments would not be affected for now.

“All of the troop-contributing countries, particularly with the force intervention brigade, will remain there until Sadc decides to withdraw. We would not have the stability without the troops,” she said.

The task force would also hold public hearings.

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