CLOSING REMARKS BY CHIEF OF THE SA NAVY, VICE-ADMIRAL JOHANNES

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					 CLOSING REMARKS BY CHIEF OF THE SA NAVY, VICE-ADMIRAL JOHANNES
MUDIMU, AT THE THIRD SEA POWER FOR AFRICA SYMPOSIUM, CAPE TOWN,
                          11 MARCH 2009


Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence, The Honourable Mr Ntuli,

The African Union Representative, Mr Samuel Kame-Domguia,

Chief of Corporate Staff, Lieutenant General Jansen van Rensburg,

Chief of Finance of the South African Defence Force, Mr Rautenbach,

Head of Communications of the Department of Defence, Mr Dlamini,

Defence and Military Attaches,

Fellow Heads of Navies and Delegates,

Colleagues from the International Navies,

Generals and Flag Officers,

Partners and Friends from the Defence Industry and Media Representatives,

Senior Officers,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.


I wish to now formally close this Third Sea Power for Africa Symposium that marked yet
another milestone in working towards a clearer understanding of what we, the Heads of
Navies and Coast Guards of the coastal and inland Navies of Africa, need to do collectively to
eliminate the threats we face at sea by ensuring maritime security in our surrounding
waters. A clearer understanding that we, as Heads of Navies and Coast Guards of the coastal
and inland Navies of Africa, must speak with one voice to ensure we act in the spirit of the
African Agenda and make the dreams of our continent and its people a reality.

Colleagues, before I reflect on the proceedings of the last three days and conclude please
allow me to extend gratitude and appreciation to all those who contributed towards the
success of this symposium.

In his absence, I express my gratitude to the Minister of Defence, the Honourable Mr
Charles Nqakula who set aside a whole day from his busy programme to grace this
occasion. His address outlined the importance of stability and security and our
government’s willingness to foster good relations and co-operation with the countries of the
continent and the world.

My deepest appreciation is extended to the Heads of Navies, Coast Guards and Marine
Forces of Africa and their delegations for attending this symposium and displaying their
commitment and dedication towards promoting collective and mutual co-operation
between our Navies.

I express my gratitude to the representatives of the international Navies, military and
defence attaches for being present and hereby demonstrating their interest and willingness
to assist us in overcoming the challenges we are confronted with on our continent.

 My appreciation is extended to the external and internal government, non-government and
institutional authorities that participated and through their experience imparted their
knowledge to clarify issues under discussion.

I extend a special word of thanks to the four session Chairpersons and the appointed
panelists who so professionally conducted themselves by assessing and providing valuable
inputs regarding the topics under discussion during the proceedings.

Most importantly to the speakers that presented papers of the highest order that were
thought-provoking, informative and well researched, I congratulate and thank them for the
major contribution they made to the success of this symposium. Their thoroughness was
evident from the questions and discussions generated.

To Rear Admiral Teuteberg and his team, that so competently arranged this event, I say well
done – you have made me proud. To the members of the South African Medical Health
Services, South African Police Services, the Metro Police, CTICC management and staff , the
security personnel and VIP Protectors, seen and unseen, I say a big thank you for your
dedicated assistance.

Thank you to Flag Officer Fleet, Rear Admiral Higgs for the excellent display and the
maneuvers at sea where one of the newly acquired submarines, SAS QUEEN MODJADJI I
displayed her capabilities, while the two frigates, SAS AMATOLA, SAS ISANDLWANA
accompanied by the OPV SAS ISAAC DYHOBA displayed their capabilities and those of the
Maritime Reaction Squadron.

I extend my appreciation for the attendance and participation of our Navy Reserve
members, and in particular our Retired Flag Officers, Admirals Trainor, Bennett, Green,
Honiball and Howell.

Colleagues, the papers presented throughout the symposium covered a number of key
issues that require serious consideration and allow me to expand on them.

The importance of the sea to the inland countries of Africa must be noted and it was felt
they should contribute toward assisting the coastal Navies on which they are reliant for
their trade.

It was pleasing to note from input by the African Union representative, Mr Samuel Kame-
Domguia, that maritime security has been placed on the AU agenda. He reported that draft
documents have been widely circulated to all relevant departments for input. This progress
bodes well for maritime security receiving the urgent attention it deserves at the highest
continental level.

Dr Ngoma explained that no single country could undertake the leadership of ensuring
maritime security, as this was a collective task for the entire continent. This emphasized the
need for co-operation, collaboration, exchange of information, intelligence and co-
ordination in a joint approach to eradicate prevailing threats that had been identified as a
golden thread throughout the symposium.

We observed the ongoing concern that the maritime boundaries of Africa such as territorial
waters and the Exclusive Economic Zones still pose a threat to countries in Africa where they
are porous and not patrolled. In most cases the explanation is that resources are lacking, but
the question was asked why there are resources to wage war but not to protect own
interests.

The paper by Professor Gibson on legal imperatives clearly brought home the reality that
legislation to deal with criminality at sea such as piracy is lacking and does not provide
concrete exercising of the law to ensure the justified punishment of perpetrators.

From examples raised it is disturbing to note that through these loopholes in the law that
these criminals escape conviction or receive light sentences that are not commensurate
with the crime committed. This shortcoming urgently calls for a resolution to be adopted.

Commodore Singh provided interesting opinions relating cost effective collaboration for the
regional acquisition of patrol vessels. He explained that the Navies of Africa required an
unsophisticated and indigenous vessel to fulfill their needs to patrol their waters. This is an
option that should be our goal after being mandated by our political leaders and then
considered for further processing.

Dr Wambua in his paper on enhancing regional maritime co-operation made the statement
that one cannot treat a disease without medicine and a diagnosis is needed – in other words
what is the role of the Navy, and do we make citizens and politicians aware of this need. He
expanded on the vast marine resources found in the EEZ waters. We must therefore get the
domestic laws right to ensure effective law enforcement in these waters and subsequently
adequate protection of these resources. To achieve this harmony and co-operation between
the regional bodies of Africa is a prerequisite.

The feedback provided by Admiral Fritzgerald on maritime progress within their areas of
interest was appreciated and the progress being made with the Africa Partnership Station
on the West Coast. His appeal for countries to provide personnel to assist in this initiative
should be noted. He emphasised that all Navies face common challenges and that
participation in the Maritime Safety and Security Information System was a collective
approach in co-operation that will assist in overcoming such challenges.

The session on maritime training reported progress on collaboration with mutual training
and striving towards creating centres of excellence. This is an environment where progress
has been made and should receive continuous attention.

Rear Admiral Ibrahim’s paper on Patrol is to Control centred on the concern of the threats
being faced in the EEZ waters and the need for situation awareness of the maritime
domain. In his words a mind shift is needed to realize the importance of the maritime
domain. He stated that Africa lacks the will to adequately invest in measures and structures
in maritime security.

The paper on Hydrography presented today by Vice Admiral Palmer reiterated the
importance of reliable surveying of our waters to ensure safe navigation by all
mariners. This has been identified as a key area of co-operation in the adopted resolutions
and capacity building is underway in our region.

The management of the EEZs was once again emphasized by Mr Kame-Domguia and this has
been a concern expressed throughout the deliberations that must be addressed as a matter
of urgency.

The feedback received from Nigeria, Tunisia, Angola, Zimbabwe and Kenya highlighted
significant achievements regarding the implementation of the previously adopted
resolutions. These include compliance with the ISPS Code, exercises, meetings and seminars
being conducted, compiling of SOP’s and the exchange of instructors and students. The
pressing concern that remains is the lack of adequate naval forces to provide sea power and
thus ensure maritime security.

The feedback on maritime progress by the South African Maritime Safety Authority
highlighted that the concept of sea power includes trade, ships and most importantly the
Navy. It was further mentioned that South Africa only has one registered ship and that we
should have three hundred – indeed a concern given the fact that we are an island
economy.

During the feedback on progress in the areas of interest of France it was stated that it takes
generations to understand the sea and maritime matters and that the importance of the sea
is not always understood by our political masters. We have heard this on a number of
occasions during the last three days and this should enjoy a high priority on our
agenda. Germany emphasized the fact that you are only relevant if others see you as
relevant. Once again another area that needs to be addressed.

In summary I wish to highlight the focus points that were echoed during the last three days.

The will to empower the Navies of Africa is lacking. We as Navy leaders must collectively
speak with one voice and impress upon our political leaders the need to invest in
adequately equipped Navies to ensure maritime security in our waters and the eradication
of threats.
Legislation to act decisively and effectively against perpetrators of crime at sea must be
introduced at all levels.

There is a need to continuously promote co-operation, collaboration, exchange of
information, intelligence and co-ordination for Africa to deal with its own threats. The
momentum of this symposium must not be compromised on leaving here. We as leaders of
the African Navies must strive to pay full attention to authoring the adopted resolutions.

In closing allow me to just step back and beg the question, that can we boldly say, that after
three days of serious deliberation whether we can assure our people that we managed to
take a bearing from this symposium.

Can they find a bearing that says because we are a lighthouse, we shall dream and do all
things that will move us with confidence and courage to author a new maritime page in the
African Agenda.

To add a voice that speaks of sea safety for all mariners who use the sea, and our efforts to
protect our national and international sea trade being conducted by all countries.

Will we leave here having done all things that will arouse the spirit of those that were here
before us and championed the cause of creating a better world, where all nations of the
world can live in peace - where our seas are used to promote order and prosperity for all
nations of the world.

Are we still dreaming of echoing the words of the former President of South Africa, the icon
of our people in the continent and the lodestar in the world of nations: “who, in reflecting
on liberty noted that “to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way
that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. The freedom of the seas, and the
effective use of its resources to enhance the expanding quality of life and liberty of our
citizens are the obligation and the responsibility of our African Maritime Community”.

The critical and fundamental view after these deliberations will be the realisation, that by
working together in fostering co-operation, co-ordination and collaboration, we shall
succeed in our efforts to ensure security in the maritime domain and thus create a better
life for all our citizens.

The South African Navy will therefore pursue the agenda of working with the Navies of the
region and continent to accelerate the implementation of the resolutions adopted by this
argots house – and in so doing shall be playing the role perceived and authored by us in
helping to speed up the creation of the maritime element of the Africa Standby Force.

We shall continue to foster closer co-operation and strengthen the existing relations with
other Navies in the international arena. We shall use the India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA)
initiative to help foster new relations with other Navies. Existing excellent relations between
South Africa and her neighbours in the SADC shall be taken to new heights in the spirit of
the Standing Maritime Committee.
The Memoranda of Understanding and bi-laterals with the USA, China, UK, France, Germany
etc shall be used be used to help build the maritime awareness so badly needed in our
Africa.

The brotherhood and sisterhood of the Navies of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tunisia, Algeria
shall be used to position Africa to an accelerated construct that will speak of an agenda that
will take the African Navies to a new destiny, into a belief that working together we can
support the NEPAD programmes and ensure that the Navies of the continent play their
constitutional mandates and thus give hope to our people. The reliance by their citizens on
their Navies must be unquestionable.

We shall pursue an agenda that promotes greater awareness in our inland Navies and
landlocked nations about their responsibilities to the coastal states as contained in the
International Convention of the Law of the Sea.

Colleagues, in the coming days and weeks we need aggressive communication with our
principals to support the notion that in our beloved Africa, all nations are equal and cannot
develop in isolation. Every coastal state, big or small is the answer to the need to build the
Africa for which we yearn.

An Africa that is free from piracy, drug and arms smuggling, human trafficking, poaching and
sea robbery – an Africa free from illegal dumping of toxic wastes in our seas, rivers and
deserts.

An Africa that is accountable and responsible to its citizens.

An Africa that is strong and desirous like the steps of giants.

An Africa that can ensure that its minerals, agricultural, cultural, marine and all resources
are used to give Africa a face of hope and prosperity.

An Africa that fosters and nurtures co-operative relations with the nations of the world.

An Africa that can protect, defend and feed itself.

An Africa that can take control of its sea and thus promote maritime awareness and security
of its coastlines.

An Africa that can handle and address disasters in all spheres of human endeavour.

An Africa that can ensure that there is a greater integration and inter-operability of its
efforts towards achieving maritime renewal.

Colleagues, as we bid farewell you must take note of the statements we have made in our
opening remarks that there will be change after this symposium. It is up to us therefore
acting individually and collectively with all hands on deck to ensure that our principals take
this agenda and that it becomes a beacon of hope for the Navies of the continent. And in so
doing we shall have ensured that the African renaissance is a lighthouse for a better life for
all.

We have consulted with delegates and the collective proposal was made and accepted that
Libya host the next Sea Power for Africa symposium in Tripoli in 2010. As soon as
confirmation is received from Libya by the Chairperson this will be disseminated
accordingly.

I trust that you have enjoyed your stay in the Mother City and had the opportunity to
experience the hospitality of our Rainbow Nation.

Tomorrow you will all have an opportunity to visit the historical sites and places of interest
in the Fairest Cape.

I hope you will all return safely home with fond memories and having reinforced old
friendships and made new friends.

Friends, as we part tomorrow let us always remember that reconstruction, development
and the success of Africa and its destiny is in our hands and will be what we make of it.

I thank you.

				
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