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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.

This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to

All views of individual associations, organisations and individuals are theirs and not those of the RFC.



News November 2014
Written by US Africom, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Contingency Response Group transferred control of a humanitarian cargo hub to replacement forces in Germany on November 19, successfully completing their support of an Ebola-response mission that has processed more than 750 tons of relief supplies for airlift into Liberia.

While the Kentucky unit's role is winding down as its members prepare to redeploy to the United States, the humanitarian cargo operation will continue at Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport under the direction of the new troops -- more than 70 Airmen assigned to the 787th Air Expeditionary Squadron.

"As one of the first Air Force assets in theater, the 123rd Contingency Response Group's mission was to open an airfield for military cargo operations, establish an Aerial Port of Debarkation, and hand off the operation to follow-on forces within 60 days," explained David Mounkes, commander of the 123rd. "We've now completed that mission, and the 787th is ready to take over. I know they will do a superb job."

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife are to donate an extra $50 million (32 million pounds) to tackling slavery worldwide, the chief executive of their US-based foundation Humanity United said on Wednesday.

Almost 36 million people are living as slaves across the globe, according to estimates published by Australian-based human rights group The Walk Free Foundation on Monday, with more than 14 million of those in India.

"One of the greatest challenges of this era is the abolition of slavery globally in all of its forms," Humanity United CEO Randy Newcomb told Trust Women, a London conference organised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Egyptian police on Thursday arrested Mohamed Ali Bishr, one of the few Muslim Brotherhood leaders to escape jail after last year's overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, in the latest sign of a crackdown on political dissent.

Bishr, a veteran politician who served as a cabinet minister under Mursi, was accused of calling for mass protests on Nov. 28, state media said.

Since the army toppled Mursi in July 2013, Egypt has banned the Brotherhood, its oldest Islamist movement, labelled it a terrorist organisation and rounded up thousands of its members.

With much of the leadership, including Mursi, in jail, Bishr had played a key role in keeping the group's activities alive underground. He was also involved in a pressure group that had pushed for Mursi's reinstatement and was banned last month.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Humanitarian groups in conflict zones need to reconsider how they protect aid workers now that insurgents no longer provide immunity for relief work, aid experts said on Wednesday.

Attacks on humanitarian workers have increased steadily over the past decade, with 474 workers killed, kidnapped or seriously wounded in 2013, compared to 143 in 2003, according to Aid Worker Security Database statistics last updated on Wednesday.

The database showed that kidnappings alone shot up to 141 in 2013, from only seven ten years earlier.

Last week an American aid worker was beheaded by Islamic State militants, following beheadings earlier this year of two British aid workers.

Kendra Davenport, chief of staff at the development group Africare, said that traditionally safety was given little attention in planning delivery of aid.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Nigerian police fired tear gas and prevented the speaker of the lower house of parliament, who has defected to the opposition, from presiding over a session on Thursday.

Senate President David Mark shut down the national assembly, postponing debate on a bill to extend a state of emergency in three states hit by insurgency, after the chaos erupted.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday blacklisted two branches of the Islamist extremist group Ansar al-Sharia in Libya, which Washington says was behind the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

Ansar Al Sharia Benghazi and Ansar Al Sharia Derna, both associated with al Qaeda, were added to the al Qaeda sanctions list and will face an arms embargo and a global travel ban and asset freeze, U.N. diplomats said.

"Both groups are responsible for acts of terror in Libya, including bomb attacks, kidnappings, and murder," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement. Britain, France and the United States initiated the action.

Ansar Al-Sharia is one of a slew of violent political factions and tribal groups fighting for power since the government lost control of the capital, Tripoli.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Ivory Coast's government opened negotiations with disgruntled soldiers on Wednesday, promising to pay back wages and overdue benefits to thousands of ex-rebels now serving in the army in a bid to quell unrest.

The soldiers, who on Tuesday erected barricades in the commercial capital Abidjan and the second city Bouake as well as in Korhogo, Odienne, and Daloa returned to barracks as they awaited the outcome of the meeting.

Government officials and representatives for the protesters said the talks would stretch into Thursday.

The world's top cocoa-producing state is still emerging from a decade of political upheaval and a 2011 civil war that saw French- and U.N.-backed rebels topple President Laurent Gbagbo after his refusal to accept an election defeat.

The protesting troops were part of the New Forces rebellion that fought with U.N. and French backing to bring Gbagbo's rival, current President Alassane Ouattara, to power three years ago.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Police fired tear gas and arrested 25 people on Wednesday in central Cairo where hundreds had gathered to commemorate dozens of protesters killed by security forces in 2011, Egypt's interior ministry told state news agency MENA.

The rally was a rare sign of defiance against strict protest laws imposed by the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who has also allowed military courts to try civilians in a crackdown that began with Islamist supporters of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

Activists had planned a march in streets near Tahrir Square on the anniversary of the deaths of 42 people three years ago when Egyptians demonstrated against the government that took power following an uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Niger sent army helicopters to its western border with Mali on Wednesday to repel unidentified militants who crossed over to attack the town of Bani-Bangou, residents and military sources said.

Residents said that the attackers had arrived on trucks and motorcycles during the afternoon before exchanging fire with Niger's security forces, causing locals to flee.

Niger's poorly policed west is close to Mali's desert north, where Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda have been hiding to regroup since a French-led military intervention ended their nine-month occupation of the region last year.

The clashes came on the eve of a third round of negotiations in Algeria between Mali's government and rebel armed groups from the north on the future of the troubled region.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 20 November 2014

Egypt's decision to shut its border with the Gaza Strip has stranded thousands of Palestinians on the Egyptian side of the border while around a thousand people in Gaza are desperate to get out for medical treatment in Egypt, officials in Gaza say.

Egypt closed Rafah, the only crossing point between Egypt and the Palestinian territory, on Oct. 25 after attacks by Islamist militants which killed 33 Egyptian soldiers, an assault that prompted Cairo to declare a state of emergency in the area.

It is also pressing ahead with a one-km (0.6-mile) buffer zone with Gaza, partly to clamp down on the smuggling of arms and other goods across the border, a business that helps finance Hamas, the Islamist group that dominates the enclave.

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News October 2014
Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Somali pirates have freed seven Indian sailors detained for close to four years in exchange for an undisclosed ransom, Somali officials and a maritime monitoring group said on Friday.

At one time the pirates made millions of dollars in ransoms from seizing ships sailing the Horn of Africa nation's waters, but increased patrols by international navies on the Indian Ocean have reduced incidences of piracy.

The sailors, held since the pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged ship MT Asphalt Venture in September 2010, were freed on Thursday. Eight of their colleagues were freed by the pirates along with the ship in April 2011 for a ransom.

Their captors said at the time that they would only release the seven sailors when their fellow Somali pirates held by Indian authorities were freed.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

China will dispatch an elite unit from the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa.

Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 5,000 people, sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough.

The PLA squad, which has experience from a 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), will build a 100-bed treatment centre in Liberia, the first such facility in the three countries most impacted by Ebola to be constructed and run by a foreign country, said Lin Songtian, director general of the ministry's Department of African Affairs.

Since 1921 the poppy has been accepted internationally as the symbol to remember fallen soldiers, thanks to the thousands of poppies that grew in Flanders Fields after the furious battle “from the blood of the fallen and wounded” in World War One.

At any service to remember a fallen soldier, the poppy is worn, closest to the heart and finally placed on the grave, cenotaph or memorial by those present. It is universally worn from November 1 to Remembrance Sunday – the second Sunday in November, this year the 9th.

“This has become a universal symbol for all fallen soldiers and those who returned,” Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, SA Legion national president, said.

Written by Kim Helfrich, Friday, 31 October 2014

In addition to anti-piracy, border protection and continental peace support and peacekeeping, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) also performed firefighting duties and search and rescue operations internally in the 2013/14 financial year.

This is according to the foreword, provided by Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to the latest Department of Defence annual report for the 2013/14 financial year.

“In terms of support to the people, the SANDF provided assistance with firefighting in Western Cape and Northern Cape, search and rescue at sea and on land in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Support was also provided during floods in Limpopo and Mpumalanga by airlifting people to safety.”

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 October 2014

Gabon has ordered two patrol vessels from French shipbuilder Piriou at the Euronaval 2014 exhibition. The latest acquisition came the same day as Gabon’s military ordered 12 Aravis armoured vehicles from France’s Nexter.

The contract was signed by Pascal Piriou, the chairman and CEO of Piriou, and Gabon’s defence minister Ernest Mpouho Epigat on October 29 in Paris.

One of the patrol vessels to be supplied by Piriou will be built new while the other will be the second hand French Navy P400 patrol vessel Tapageuse, which is being overhauled and refitted. It will be delivered in mid-2015. In December 2013 Tapageuse was acquired by Piriou Naval Services, which began refurbishing it with the view to marketing it to interested countries. Earlier this year it was reported that the Philippines was interested in acquiring the vessel for its Coast Guard.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Islamist Boko Haram militants have seized control of the northeast Nigerian town of Mubi, killing dozens of people and forcing thousands to flee, witnesses said.

The insurgents stormed Mubi on Wednesday. Gunfire has been heard in the town ever since, witnesses told Reuters.

A security source on Thursday confirmed the town had fallen to the insurgents. Witnesses said they hoisted their black flag over the palace of the traditional ruler.

Witnesses said the insurgents robbed banks, burned down the main market and sacked the palace. One saw them kill a university lecturer and his entire family -- Boko Haram, whose name means Western education is sinful, abhors secular learning.

Written by UN, Friday, 31 October 2014

While noting the progress made to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, the United Nations political chief has said that a sustained long-term solution must include the presence of effective Government and State institutions that provide basic services and alternative ways for people to make a living.

Briefing the Security Council on piracy off the coast of the east African nation last week, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said that this multi-pronged approach may be “a daunting, but unavoidable task, for it will enable Somalia to effectively address, and ultimately defeat, piracy.”

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

Hundreds of protesters marched in the capital of Burkina Faso on Friday demanding that President Blaise Compaore step down, a day after the military dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.

"We don't want him. We want him out of power. He is not our president," demonstrator Ouedrago Yakubo told Reuters. The demonstrators gathered at the main Place de la Nation and in front of the army headquarters.

Compaore, a close ally of former colonial power France who seized power in a coup in 1987, said late on Thursday he would stay in office at the head of a transitional government until after elections. He also scrapped an unpopular plan to amend the constitution to allow him to seek election next year.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 October 2014

Two soldiers from 4 SA Infantry Battalion at Middelburg, Mpumalanga, were wounded during an ambush on a hybrid AU/UN peacekeeping force near Kutum in the northern Darfur region of Sudan earlier this week.

The ambush was on a section dispatched from the South African battalion base to collect water.

The two wounded soldiers were airlifted by helicopter to the UN hospital at el Fashir and were earlier today “stable” according to Captain (SAN) Jaco Theunissen, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Joint Operations Division operational communication officer.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 October 2014

At least nine members of Niger's security forces were killed in attacks by unidentified insurgents on Thursday in the western Tillabéry region near the border with Mali, the government said.

"Terrorist elements carried out simultaneous attacks in Tillabéry. Five policemen, two gendarmes and two national guards were killed," it said in the statement signed by the West African state's defence and interior ministers.

The statement gave no further details.

A Nigerien security source told Reuters earlier that a prison near the region was also attacked by unknown assailants and dozens of inmates were freed.

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Movable Heritage Assets
 TitleOwnerCategoryLast UpdatedSize (Kb) 
Letter from Dr Job, Chair RFC Administrator Giles 9/18/2014 234.27 Download
Memorandum RE: Movable Heritage Assets Administrator Giles 9/18/2014 238.84 Download

News September 2014
Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State targets in Syria overnight, in raids that a group monitoring the war said killed civilians as well as jihadist fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in an area controlled by Islamic State, killing at least two civilian workers.

Strikes on a building on a road leading out of the town also killed a number of Islamic State fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory which gathers information from sources in Syria.

The U.S. military said on Monday an American air strike overnight targeted Islamic State vehicles in a staging area adjacent to a grain storage facility near Manbij, but it had no evidence so far of civilian casualties.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

U.S. military efforts against Islamic State have cost nearly $1 billion so far and are likely to run between $2.4 billion and $3.8 billion per year if air and ground operations continue at the current pace, according to a think tank analysis.

But a ramp-up, including more air strikes and a significant boost in ground forces, could send costs soaring to between $13 billion and $22 billion annually, said the analysis released on Monday by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

"Future costs depend, to a great extent, on how long operations continue, the steady-state level of air operations, and whether additional ground forces are deployed beyond what is already planned," said the report by Todd Harrison and other analysts.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The United States plans to quickly increase its presence in Liberia, where military personnel are deploying to help the West African nation halt the advance of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, the general in charge of the mission said on Monday.

Washington is sending some 3,000 soldiers to the region to build treatment centres and train local medics. Around half will be based in Liberia, with the rest providing logistical support outside the country.

"This is about urgency and speed. So what you're going to see here pretty soon is forces flown here," Major General Darryl Williams told journalists in the capital, Monrovia.

"I have 175 soldiers and I have another 30 that are in other countries that are beginning to set up the logistics hub to fly forces in here," he said.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A record 4,077 migrants have died already this year crossing deserts and seas worldwide, three-quarters of them in perilous journeys across the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, an aid agency said on Monday.

They include an estimated 500 people fleeing Africa and the Middle East feared drowned in a shipwreck off Malta in mid-September after smugglers deliberately rammed their boat, the International Organisation for Migration said.

In its first comprehensive report on such deaths, the IOM said 40,000 migrants worldwide are believed to have perished since 2000, 22,000 of them seeking a better life in Europe.

"Limited opportunities for safe and regular migration drive would-be migrants into the hands of smugglers, feeding an unscrupulous trade that threatens the lives of desperate people," IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing said in a statement. "We need to put an end to this cycle."

Written by ISS Africa, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Given the extent to which it dominates global news and politics, it is remarkable how little we know about the men – and, very occasionally, women – behind Islamist extremism.

How are people drawn into such radical politics? What type of person becomes a terrorist? What is it that forces radicals out of day-to-day politics and into the extreme and often violent margins of society?

There are theories, of course. Maybe, some say, there’s something inherent within Islam that encourages intolerance; maybe it’s a function of widespread poverty, neglect and discrimination; maybe human nature inherently dictates that there will always be groups that want to overturn the status quo.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Around 31 400 new passenger and freighter aircraft, 100 seats and above, worth $4.6 trillion will be needed over the next 20 years, according to Airbus, as passenger traffic grows annually at 4.7%.

In its Global Market Forecast between now and 2033, Airbus said the passenger and freighter fleet will increase from today’s 18 500 aircraft to 37 500 by 2033, an increase of nearly 19 000 aircraft. Some 12 400 older less fuel efficient passenger and freighter aircraft will be retired.

The company pointed out that today 32 million flights carry three billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of freight a year. Globally the aviation sector’s economic impact is estimated at $2.4 trillion annually.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Bell Helicopter has received new customer commitments for fourteen Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters in southern Africa, with nine coming during the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) show in Pretoria.

Bell Helicopter has worked with National Airways Corporation (NAC), its independent representative in South Africa, to secure new customer commitments for the new aircraft, the helicopter maker said. The new JRX helicopters have been purchased primarily by private pilots and enthusiasts.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 25th year representing Bell Helicopter and nothing could be more fitting in celebration than to introduce the Bell 505 JRX to our market at AAD,” said Martin Banner, chief executive officer of NAC. “The Bell 505 has undoubtedly been the star of the show and its reception has been remarkable. We look forward to many more years of partnership and success with Bell Helicopter particularly as they continue to roll out their exciting new commercial products like the JRX and the Bell 525 Relentless.”

Written by Kim Helfrich, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

An indication of the Reserve Force’s importance to the overall South African defence capability comes with the utilisation, for an average of 180 days a year, of more than 70% of its 21 500 active members.

“The Reserves are making significant contributions within all four services of the Department of Defence and increased utilisation has been observed over a period of time,” Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube told the recent Reserve Force symposium in Midrand.

Evidence of this was the increased use of Reserves in Operation Corona (border protection) and in continental peace support operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan.

Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

At least 30 South African social justice organisations want the Seriti Commission of Inquiry dissolved.

The call comes after weekend revelations by the Sunday Times that President Jacob Zuma allegedly received bribes in the form of cash, overseas trips and clothing from French arms company Thales.

Speaking on behalf of the organisations which have endorsed the call for the Commission’s dissolution, Murray Hunter of the Right2Know Campaign said they had five major concerns about the Seriti Commission.

Written by Reuters, Tuesday, 30 September 2014

When a little-known group of Algerian militants beheaded a French tourist last week, they were not only lashing out at the West, but also staking an unmistakable claim in the shifting ground of jihadist power politics.

Herve Gourdel's murder by the Caliphate Soldiers, ostensibly to punish France for Western military strikes on Islamic State forces in Iraq, was testament to the pull now exerted by the al Qaeda-offshoot in the battle for the loyalties of jihadists.

A week before Gourdel was kidnapped and killed, the Soldiers' Algerian commander Abdelmalek Gouri, also known as Khalid Abu Suleiman, had split with al Qaeda's North African wing to support Islamic State, whose battlefield successes and declaration of a "Caliphate" in Iraq and Syria have stolen al Qaeda's thunder.

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News August 2014
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 29 August 2014

The decision by three witnesses to “withdraw” from the Seriti Commission is being “considered” by the Presidentially appointed commission investigating the multi-billion Rand arms deal.

Andrew Feinstein, Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren on Thursday said they had decided “with great disappointment” to withdraw all participation in the Commission.

“The appointment of the Commission raised great expectations that the truth would finally be established and this would challenge the interests of politicians, middlemen and large corporations in one of the most corrupt industries in the world. The Commission had the prospect of serving not only South Africans but all people across the globe campaigning against the devastating impact of corruption in the arms trade.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 29 August 2014

Legal and other actions taken by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) following the violent 2009 Union Buildings protest has by and large backfired with another judgement against it handed down this week.

The attempted dismissal of 664 soldiers by way of notices in newspapers was on Thursday declared unlawful by the Supreme Court of Appeals (SCA) in Bloemfontein.

The matter was taken to the highest court in the country by the SA National Defence Union (Sandu). The Pretoria headquartered military trade union can now look back on August as a good month in court having given the SANDF’s legal team a bloody nose on no less than three occasions with the SCA judgement the cherry on top.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 29 August 2014

Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan has called for greater bilateral cooperation between China and South Africa during a meeting with General Solly Shoke, chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), on Wednesday.

Chang hailed defence ties between the two countries and said that both sides should seek strategic and long-term cooperation in the field of defence and should also learn from each other, reports Xinhua.

Shoke said South Africa is willing to further expand defence cooperation with China to push forward bilateral relationship.

The day before the meeting, Shoke and Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, co-chaired the sixth meeting of the China-South Africa Defence Committee.

“Both sides agreed to fully implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, promote high-level visits and personnel exchanges between the two armed forces, expand pragmatic communication and cooperation so as to push forward China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership,” according to Xinhua.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 29 August 2014

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula addressed over a thousand female South African National Defence Force personnel during the 2014 Women’s Parade at Air Force Base Swartkop on 29 August.

Programme Director
Secretary for Defence
Acting Chief of the SANDF
Director General of Military Veterans

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula
Chiefs of our Arms of Service and Divisions
Members of the PDSC
Generals and Flag Officers
Senior Officials of the Department of Military Veterans
The Military Ombud

Written by Reuters, Friday, 29 August 2014

African Islamists may be emboldened by the Islamic State's gains in the Middle East, and local security services need to cooperate to counter the continent's militants, African intelligence officials heard on Thursday.

African Islamist rebels like Nigeria's Boko Haram have not made as dramatic an advance as Islamic State, which controls a swathe of Syria and Iraq. But they have launched attacks across Africa, from Niger, Mali and Nigeria in the west to Somalia and Kenya in the east.

The success of Islamic State could shape the thinking of African Islamists, said Andrew Muzonzini, Zimbabwe's head of external intelligence and a member of the African Union's Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA).

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