The sinking of the South African Navy
African Union had been holding a security summit in
Here the South African tabloid Impact regrets having gone where the Jewnighted States are headed.
By Stephen Goodson
The South African Navy was formed on
In World War II it was first known as the Seaward Defence Force, and on
In 1951 the SANF became the South African Navy (SAN),
Although hindered by sanctions from 1975 onwards, it remained one of the elite small navies of the world, and was able to compete with the best in terms of advanced weapons systems.
In 1994, after the White government had capitulated to the African National Congress (ANC), a decision was made to replace the ageing fleet with four patrol corvettes and three Class 209 submarines. Although a Spanish consortium had tendered to supply more versatile corvettes at a lower price than the R6-billion asked by the German shipbuilding firm of Blohm & Voss for each corvette. the Germans were awarded the contract. It later transpired that this higher, inflated price had been needed in order to accommodate the bribes and commissions paid to ANC cabinet ministers and their cohorts.
The ships were delivered, after having followed all standard operating procedures, from October 2005 onwards.
However, the following year a trans- formation/affirmative action program was introduced, which in the first phase resulted in the forced retirement, with the aid of financial packages, of 384 highly skilled artisans and technicians. Many of these servicemen had over 20 years of experience, and the transfer of on-the-job skills came to a halt.
New recruits were sent to
Blow-out of a submarine
Nine months ago, disaster struck when an unsupervised,
unskilled seaman connected one of the submarines to a 440-volt power supply. As
the submarines use 110 volts, the computers and the entire internal circuitry,
which consists of tens of kilometers of wiring, were blown up. Due to budgetary
constraints, it has still not been decided whether to tow the submarine back to
One of the
key aspects of the navy is maintenance; notwithstanding the fact that none of
the SAN’s ships is operational. According to an
engineering firm from Paarden Eiland,
In November 2009, the United States Navy (USN)
requested that a joint exercise take place with the SAN. This was not a typical
exercise in which live ammunition was used, but simply a sailing trip. In order
to get the SAN’s ships to sea, it was necessary to
call up a large number of retired naval reserve officers and engineers. After
the “exercise,” the USN set up a register in
A “Comrade” running the SAN
Currently, morale in the SAN is quite low. There is no discipline and the few remaining White officers are frequently absent on “stress” leave. Although 20% of the annual recruits may be White, not many apply because of very low training standards.
The Chief of the Navy is Vice Admiral J. Mudimu, a former member of the liberation army, Umkhonto We Sizwe. He boasts an impressive array of qualifications, but they do not include a certificate of seamanship or a navigation certificate.
The official website of the SAN, which contains dated information and links to several blank pages, claims that the core business and mission of the SAN is to fight and win at sea. With its ships being almost permanently moored, and with the lack of any trained crews, this must surely be rated as Mission Impossible.
will we ever learn? A recent National Geographics
story on front man Obama’s investing of our debt
notes in solar energy informs us that