Minister criticises defence force for being too black

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 20, 2015

Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has lashed out at the national defence force for not enrolling more white soldiers, saying that a “purely black army does not reflect the constitution”.

Speaking at a press conference before her budget speech in Parliament yesterday, Mapisa-Nqakula said that government had been “over enthusiastic” when it lowered the retirement age of army officers after 1994, and that a balanced racial representation is paramount.

“When I look at the entry levels, of the army, the younger ones you see that if you go into a hall…you can literally count…how many white young people are coming into the force,” she said.

“When we came in [to power] we were unaware of some of the challenges that we would face. We should have targeted recruitment to bring in those white boys and girls”.

Mapisa-Nqakula stated that the retirement age would be raised from 60 to 65 years “as the younger generation does not have an appreciation of how we have reached this point where we are”.

“Only people who have that kind of experience is those of you who went through this process of integration in 1994. My view is that first we need to have a clear succession plan as to how we will get to five to ten years in terms of long term planning,” eNCA quoted her as saying.

 

IMAGE sourced from navy.mill.za