09 APR 2013 07:01 - NICKOLAUS BAUER
Did President Jacob Zuma flout his constitutional obligations when he deployed South African troops to the Central African Republic?
200. (1) The defence force must be structured and managed as a disciplined military force.
201. (1) A member of the Cabinet must be responsible for defence.
a) in cooperation with the police service;
b) in defence of the republic; or
c) in fulfilment of an international obligation.
a) the reasons for the employment of the defence force;
b) any place where the force is being employed;
c) the number of people involved; and
d) the period for which the force is expected to be employed.
202. (1) The President as head of the national executive is Commander-in-Chief of the defence force, and must appoint the Military Command of the defence force.
203. (1) The president as head of the national executive may declare a state of national defence, and must inform Parliament promptly and in appropriate detail of the reasons for the declaration; any place where the defence force is being employed; and the number of people involved.
204. A civilian secretariat for defence must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for defence.
"The president can't say they were there protecting national interests without telling us what interests they were protecting. The president is constitutionally obligated to be open and honest about this – it is not discretionary," added Gutto.
This view was mirrored by David Maynier, Democratic Alliance spokesperson on defence.
- Read the letters here
And Maynier said that Zuma had further contradicted himself, when he also stated in the second clarification letter that he would revise the protection element of the mission to the CAR, if the situation improved. The "protection element" was not mentioned in the first letter to Parliament, he pointed out.
The DRC's army is fighting M23 rebels in a conflict that has dragged the country's east back into war and displaced more than half a million people.
(a) the reasons for the employment of the defence force;
(b) any place where the force is being employed;
(c) the number of people involved; and
(d) the period for which the force is expected to be employed."
AND CHARGED FOR HIGH TREASON.