The Presidential Years

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This is what I actually said, on behalf of my colleagues who were in the military:

I am a soldier and the military is a very hierarchical structure. It is therefore very difficult for me to address the matter where I’m supposed to be an accused, vindicated or not, in the presence of my indirect accuser who happens to be my commander, the chief of the SANDF. I am only emboldened by the fact that I am given audience by the Commander in Chief and that the Ministers are in attendance as well.

I spoke about,

the sense of relief that I feel. It is not that the commission found the report to be fraudulent and the process flawed as this was never in doubt in my mind. The relief came out of the speed with which the commission completed its work, in order that we might address the implications of the fraudulency and the flawed process and the reasons behind this so that it helps us chart our way out of this sorry mess that was brought upon us, and which was putting the defence force into disrepute.

I said that

we posit a few theories why we think that a fraudulent report was prepared and why the process was as flawed as it was.
      • First of all to mislead the State President and the Government
      • Secondly to discredit and undermine the new incumbents and to derail transformation
It may well be possible that some of the information in the report is true or half true, but the elaborate plan that the report describes was designed to mislead the President and the government about the involvement of new defence force personnel in a coup attempt. We do not believe there is a left-wing plot involving anybody to overthrow the government, but military intelligence is still caught in the old mindset where they were continuing to believe and give credence to misinformation of the kind given to the National Party leadership in order to justify the excessive repression, which was their wont in the old apartheid government.

We said that

the military intelligence is one of the most backward and untransformed departments of the DoD. One is painfully aware of its unreconstructed thinking, operations and ideological weddedness to the past as shown by a great deal of one-sidedness and bias in favour of the old-friends of the SADF in analyses and reports on Southern Africa and a preponderance of phantom left wing threat reports compared to graver right-wing ones. Such are the authors of this report. The findings of this commission simply mean one thing, that we are living dangerously, and you and the government Mr. President cannot rely on an important part of your security services. . . If this was a banana republic we would then all perhaps be accused and put up against the wall and shot.

That’s what we said. I think it sums up what we thought about them and this report.

Siphiwe Nyanda
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