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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2013, 09:36 
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Dean wrote:
Gentlemen, play the ball, not the man. [-X


Mmmm


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2013, 10:37 
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Tally-ho wrote:
The post by Romeo Yankee is revealing in its content. If indeed Mr Maynier served in the Military, it should be respected.


Why? Real respect is something that is earned. Only primitives believe respect should automatically be given to a holder of a title. Virtually very white SA male, and many black ones, who turned 18 before 1990 has military experience. So do thousands of women. Should this qualify them for ministerial rank? Of course not. A silly question. The world has seen some real idiots with military experience in such positions (and some brilliant ones with no military experience). Knowing how to field strip a rifle is a long way from formulating a strategic defence strategy and implementing it. The DA spokesperson on defence should not only draw attention to the real (as opposed to the perceived) deficiencies in the SANDF but also, instead of being blindly antagonistic, make tangible suggestions how these can be remedied. An opposition is after all part of the government - and should assist in governance by offering positive solutions rather than just sitting on the sidelines and pointing out every failure in a gleeful "told-you-so" sort of attitude.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2013, 11:33 
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Nicely said Eugene.

On further reflection, there is one thing that Maynier does which I consider to be unforgivable and unbecoming of a man in his position: His tendency to play loose with the facts and rely on scuttlebutt, as Eugene said earlier.

For instance his claim that there are only six qualified Gripen pilots, which has now been accepted by the majority of people I know as fact; his railing against the government for supposedly misleading the country by having troops protecting the C.A.R.'s President Bozize under Op. Vimbezela which is for training only, despite the fact that the government had told Parliament long before his release that Bozize was receiving SASF VIP protection under Op. Morero and his criticism of the Navy for not deploying all three subs or all four frigates all the time when it's standard naval practice to have only one ship of every three available for operations to cater for maintenance and standard rotations.

I still think he could play an important role for the DA in helping to uncover and publicise ANC corruption, but he's not the best person to be the Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans. It says a lot when current and former SANDF personnel have little respect for him.


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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2013, 12:11 
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Perhaps Silvermine [and other military areas such as Naval Base Simon's Town, Ysterplaat AFB, Thaba Tshwane etc] should be declared national Key Points ...

with accompanying ZAR 220M security upgrades :roll:


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 01:56 
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The opposition is NOT part of the government. It is a government in waiting. Although I do agree with Eugene that David could strengthen his cause by offering workable solutions to the current mess.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 06:49 
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Cloud Warrior wrote:
The opposition is NOT part of the government. It is a government in waiting. Although I do agree with Eugene that David could strengthen his cause by offering workable solutions to the current mess.


Semantics. Who pays the opposition then? One can quibble about which part of the parliament is actually governing (ie the cabinet, the president or the entire shebang) but the whole parliamentary edifice is government in a Westminster system. Paid for by the poor suckers who are taxed.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 07:04 
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Though even if you only view 'government' in the narrow terms of being the group presently in power, the concept of the Opposition providing alternative policies and solutions is a long-standing one, meant to prove fitness to govern. Look at how other Shadow Ministers in the DA have presented alternative budgets, alternative concepts for a voting system, alternative policies and strategies and of course the alternative local government management policies being shown in the Western Cape. What all those are meant to do is create legitimacy by showing voters that not only can you highlight things that are going wrong, but you have good and reasonable ideas on how to do it better.

Does anybody know what Maynier's views are on the subject areas of the 2012 Defence Review? Is he in favour of anti-piracy patrols and peacekeeping? Does he think the SANDF needs a budget increase? Does he feel the need to replace the Army's logistical trucks is urgent? Does he believe that the aircraft numbers envisaged under Project Saucepan are sufficient for our needs or just another case of fitting the numbers to the too-small budget? We can't know, because he has never articulated those views or offered them as an alternative to the status quo.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 08:43 
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Darren wrote:
Though even if you only view 'government' in the narrow terms of being the group presently in power, the concept of the Opposition providing alternative policies and solutions is a long-standing one, meant to prove fitness to govern. Look at how other Shadow Ministers in the DA have presented alternative budgets, alternative concepts for a voting system, alternative policies and strategies and of course the alternative local government management policies being shown in the Western Cape. What all those are meant to do is create legitimacy by showing voters that not only can you highlight things that are going wrong, but you have good and reasonable ideas on how to do it better.

Does anybody know what Maynier's views are on the subject areas of the 2012 Defence Review? Is he in favour of anti-piracy patrols and peacekeeping? Does he think the SANDF needs a budget increase? Does he feel the need to replace the Army's logistical trucks is urgent? Does he believe that the aircraft numbers envisaged under Project Saucepan are sufficient for our needs or just another case of fitting the numbers to the too-small budget? We can't know, because he has never articulated those views or offered them as an alternative to the status quo.


Well siad. If the DA spent less time complianing about what his happeining and more on what should happen. Maybe just maybe some things may change for the better.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 11:36 
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Darren wrote:
As I'm partially responsible for this thread going so far off-topic, let me clarify:

My frustration with Maynier is not because he criticizes the SANDF, rather it's that he plays to the crowd and condemns the popular stuff rather than holding the SANDF to account for the things it really does screw up.

The SANDF today does a remarkable job despite challenges, but nobody can deny that it could be much, much better. In many units discipline and leadership are non-existent, political appointees pollute many positions and procurement is an unholy mess.

So the SANDF faces both serious external pressure, such as inflation and the inadequate budget, but also serious internal pressure largely of its own making. It would be counter-productive to complain only about the external pressures without trying to fix the internal problems as well.

Maynier has an incredibly important position as the Opposition's Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans because not only does he have the ear of the general public but he's the only powerful opposition politician in a position to conduct real oversight over the SANDF.

Yet if you look at the releases he has issued over the years there's almost nothing about real ongoing internal problems, no discussion or seeming interest in Defence policy, no questioning of capacity vs requirement. Instead, with the exception of his justifiable targeting of the Minister on VIP flights they're mostly cheap shots that get the public sending outraged letters but do nothing to change the situation. For instance the valid criticisms that Römer-Heitman makes should be followed up to their conclusion by Maynier.

I don't want to suggest that Maynier himself is a bad guy, because he's incredibly sharp and could be very effective in another role such as highlighting ANC corruption. He's just not well-suited to his present position and should be replaced by somebody with more domain knowledge if the DA is both serious about proving its capacity to govern and exercising proper oversight of the Defence Force.

None of this excuses the ANC for its woeful mismanagement, of course. I'd love to see a new Shadow Minister expose just how badly the ANC has been running the SANDF by underfunding it, interfering in appointments and training and demanding deployments regardless of capacity, amongst other things.


X2 :smt023


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 12:50 
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Its not merely semantics. In British English (and that of the Commonwealth of Nations), a government more narrowly refers to the particular executive in control of a state at a given time. The parliamentary opposition is a form of political opposition to a designated government, particularly in a Westminster-based parliamentary system.

The opposition can therefore not be the government.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 13:20 
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That's just one definition of government, when used in the same sense that 'administration' is used in the US. Yet it's also entirely correct to use the broader definition of government, meaning the means by which the country is governed. As legislators are involved the law-making process, have impeachment/recall rights over heads of government, approve budgets and perform oversight over the executive they are part of that system whether in the opposition or not.

In other words, because Maynier has an oversight duty over the DoD in his position as an MP in the various oversight committees, he is partially responsible for the state the DoD is in. That makes him part of government under its broader definition because even the opposition is meant to help keep the executive branch working properly.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 13:28 
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A simpler definition: We (taxpayers) pay his salary.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 13:56 
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Heh, I agree, a much better and simpler definition.


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 15:11 
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Quote:
Silvermine copper theft not affecting naval communications
by Go South Online
defenceWeb
20 March 2013

The theft of substantial quantities of copper cable from the Navy’s communications centre at Silvermine has not impacted in any way on maritime operations. 

Responding to reports the thefts had left the Navy with “only one ear” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga SANDF director: corporate communications said this was not so.

“The theft is not adversely affecting the country’s maritime safety and we are communicating effectively with our ships at sea, including the Valour Class frigate SAS Mendi currently in the Mozambique Channel on an Operation Copper deployment,” he said.

Silvermine is currently running with slight degradation on certain directions due to the loss of radio coverage from upper field antennae. Lower field antennae are fully operational and radio communication over most of the directions and distances required for current maritime operations, including maritime aircraft patrols, is good.

“Additionally, the satellite communication links used to communicate with ships at sea are totally unaffected by the cable theft. Naval Communications Centre Durban will cover for communications that cannot be covered by Silvermine’s lower field.

“Where there are gaps in coverage from Silvermine these will be fully covered by Durban,” he said.

As far as preventing further theft from the strategic base Mabanga said: “A director’s inquiry is currently underway to prevent future similar incidents”.

The Department of Public Works, government’s landlord, has also been approached to repair or replace damaged and broken fences at Silvermine.

“We have indicated it is both serious and urgent but neither the Navy nor the SANDF can indicate when repair work will be done,” he said.

The Navy is investigating alternative ways of repairing fences apparently broken by the copper thieves if Public Works does not respond speedily enough to the military request.

In the interim the Navy has removed all valuable equipment from the upper antenna field to discourage further theft.

Mabanga said the location of the Silvermine complex, in the Table Mountain National Park, meant the Navy did not “normally” guard it.

“The public has direct, but difficult, access through the Silvermine section of the park. The antenna field is protected by a fence which has deteriorated to the extent a completely new barrier is required. Replacement is a major undertaking as environmental and security issues have to be considered,” he said adding the lower section of the Silvermine complex was “fully guarded”.



Deffense web


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PostPosted: 20 Mar 2013, 16:14 
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You guys has the perception that the opposition can contribute to actual governance, because that is mostly how it works in "normal" democracies. Not in SA though. Just look how much difference the opposition can really make by comparing their seats in government to that of the ruling party and then reality sets in.
Maynier has complained many times about the way he is dismissed or ignored in the standing committee for defense. They put him there to show they "believe" in cooperative governance but because they have such a huge majority, they can simply ignore his inputs. Same goes for the rest of Parliament, provincial parliaments and municipalities. This is a problem we've had even in the "old SA". Their is no adequate opposition in SA and therefore the ruling party, in fact, governs by themselves.

Was Maynier not part of the team who worked on the new defense review?

#-o Me thinks we're well of topic now, cable theft and security of military installations is out the door now :roll:

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