Can't defend a cabbage farm: Malema wants army recalled from DRC

The government has deployed almost 3,000 troops in the country, costing R2bn

15 February 2024 - 19:02
By Kgothatso Madisa
EFF leader Julius Malema says the poorly trained South African troops are being killed by superior forces in the DRC.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi EFF leader Julius Malema says the poorly trained South African troops are being killed by superior forces in the DRC.

The South African soldiers deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must be withdrawn immediately as they are not fit to even defend a cabbage farm, says EFF leader Julius Malema.

He believes the ANC-led government has collapsed the army to the extent that soldiers cannot even be trusted to protect a cabbage farm. Their deployment as part of the Sadc mission was therefore tantamount to sending them to their deaths.

Malema’s comments came after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the government had deployed almost 3,000 troops to the DRC, at a cost of  R2bn.

The deployment, which took effect in December and is to last for a year, was part of the Sadc deployment to help the government of DRC in its fight against rebels in the east of the country.

It has been reported that two SANDF members were killed when a mortar bomb landed inside their base in DRC.

Malema said the South African army was not capacitated to deal with such deployment and that the government should withdraw it.


“South African deployment of soldiers to DRC is out of order, it must be withdrawn with immediate effect,” said Malema. “Not that South Africa is not supposed to deploy in DRC, we just don't have the army. Our army can't look after cabbages.”

Malema said the ANC had “collapsed” the army and that was why the EFF in its manifesto says that it would finance the army to ensure that it was properly trained and equipped.

The country was infiltrated with thugs who are bringing in AK47s from neighbouring countries but the army was nowhere to be see, Malema said.

This was further proof that there was no army in South Africa and that it had no business going on any deployments.

“So you are going to kill those poor children, they are sent there to be killed because they are not properly trained. They must come back home and we must stop military deployment until we're fit and proper,” said Malema.

He said you could see the soldiers were demoralised just from the way they were carrying their weapons.

“Look at the South African soldier walking, you see a demoralised man who's carrying a rifle and you'll see that rifle is heavy on him, he's not even fit to carry that rifle. They are killing them,” he said.

“So Cyril Ramaphosa wants to kill our children in DRC. Those rebels will finish you in DRC because they are well equipped. Look, now they are even coming for us in our own base,” Malema said.