Defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has moved to clarify her statement about last week’s unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
This comes after she seemingly contradicted President Cyril Ramaphosa when he said last Friday the violent unrest in both provinces was an “attempted insurrection” that failed to gain popular support.
On Sunday, during her appearance before a parliamentary committee, Mapisa-Nqakula said there was no sign of a coup or insurrection but a “counter-revolution” had taken place.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, Mapisa-Nqakula said she made a mistake.
“The president has spoken. It was an attempted insurrection. I confined myself to counter-revolutionary but ultimately, remember, any element of counter-revolution may lead to insurrection in a country,” she said.
She said her mistake should not justify people questioning her loyalty to Ramaphosa or the state.
“If you create or commit a mistake, that should never justify people questioning your loyalty or allegiance to the government. I have served and will continue to serve for as long as I am required,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.
“[This is] something that has deeply upset me. I am being portrayed as an irresponsible young girl. I’m not. I think I’m senior enough, I am politically mature enough to appreciate there are things you can’t play around with, and one of those is this situation in which we are finding ourselves.”
On Monday, acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said Mapisa-Nqakula’s views on the unrest were ill-informed.
“We want to clarify that the position of the government is that, as articulated by the president, of an attempt at an insurrection in the country,” said Ntshavheni.
“That perspective is informed by discussions with the National Security Council, chaired by the president, from which he receives a briefing from the military command and other law enforcement agencies.
“To that effect we don’t know where a contrary view comes from. It is not a view supported by any facts or by our law enforcement agencies.”
TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)