Army prepared for elections, World Cup

The South African National Defence Force is ”overstretched” but capable of assisting in the upcoming elections, Confederations Cup and Fifa World Cup, Joint Operations said on Friday.

Speaking to the media in Pretoria, chief director of operations Admiral Philip Schoultz said while the combined forces were overstretched in missions outside the country, this had been factored into the annual planning process.

”At this stage we can meet the current commitments, as well as the anticipated commitments, such as the upcoming elections, should we be required to assist; as well as the major events like Soccer World Cup and [the] upcoming Confederations Cup.”

He said Joint Operations had also planned for three large-scale deployments outside the country.

”We also have at least two battalions on standby within the country at all times in addition to the chief of the national defence force’s reserves,” he said.

He said over and the above the 2 826 troops and officers currently deployed in six missions, mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they were still facing further requests from international bodies for more assistance.

”We are consistently being asked to do more and each time … we do an [assessment] and then we advise our political leaders as to whether South Africa can do it at this stage or not, and they then make the decision,” he said. — Sapa

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