President Cyril Ramaphosa praised the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for the role it played in quelling the civil unrest experienced in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in 2021.
Ramaphosa says the country is always reassured that the SANDF is there as the last line in restoring order, maintaining calm and defending the territorial integrity of the country.
As the Commander in Chief of the SANDF, Ramaphosa addressed crowds gathered to celebrate the Armed Forces Day being celebrated in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
Ramaphosa says, “The terrible experiences of the July 2021 unrest has left deep wounds. It tested the authority of the state and the strength of our democracy. At that moment of great crisis, the sight of a uniformed SANDF member out there, keeping us safe, restoring calm, gave reassurance at a time when many were fearful.”
Commemorating and celebrating South Africa’s Armed Forces
SANDF role in the region:
The SANDF is there for the country, its neighbours and the continent in times of uncertainty, crisis and very real danger, added Ramaphosa.
He lauded the SANDF role in battling the insurgency currently taking place in the north of Mozambique.
“These brave men and women are there to restore stability and prevent a spill-over of the conflict into other countries in our region. Last month, we welcomed back the members of 15 SA Infantry Battalion from their deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 2001, members of the SANDF have been part of peacekeeping operations under the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO,” says Ramaphosa.
#ArmedForcesDay2022 || Wreath Laying Ceremony || Commander-in-Chief of the SA National Defence Force, President Cyril Ramaphosa || Barberton, Mpumalanga Province || 21 February.
Armed Forces Day 2022 || 21 February || Mpumalanga Province.
As part of #ArmedForces2022 in Mpumalanga Mbombela, the #SANDF hosted an Interfaith Service at Mbombela Stadium. The service commemorated the lives of the 616 South African soldiers who lost their lives in the sinking of the SS MENDI steamship on 21 February 1917. pic.twitter.com/BjyKwwbJEM
— SA National Defence Force (@SANDF_ZA) February 21, 2022
The Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force, President @CyrilRamaphosa, is today officiating at the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Mpumalanga; received by Defence Minister Modise, DM Thabang Makwetla and Chief of #SANDF General Maphwanya
— Presidency | South Africa ?? (@PresidencyZA) February 21, 2022