SA Navy all set to combat piracy
The South African Navy is stepping up equipment and personnel training to combat piracy and curb sea crimes such as the shipment of drugs, arms and various forms of trafficking.
This was said by the chief of the South African Navy, Refiloe Mudimu.
Speaking at a media briefing in Tshwane yesterday, Mudimu and other senior staff outlined challenges facing the navy as well as strategies to confront those issues.
The navy was pressed to comment on the readiness and capabilities in the event that South Africa was called upon to deliver maritime assistance in the event of piracy.
This question arose in the light of the recent hijacking of a Saudi-owned oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates demanding a ransom of R262 million.
"The SA Navy must not allow human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms trafficking or any other activity taking place without us being aware," Mudimu said.
The navy was also struggling to attract and retain technically and combat skilled personnel such as engineers and divers.
According to Rear-Admiral Bernhard Teuteberg, chief director of maritime strategy, these personnel "perform at their best between the ages of 20 and 30".