media statement 2008

STATEMENT BY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS

STATEMENT BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE (SANDF): MEDIA RELEASE FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE SAS SPIOENKOP TO THE FAR EAST

Date: Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Subject: SAS SPIOENKOP DEPLOYS TO FAR EAST

One of the South African Navy’s new frigates, SAS SPIOENKOP, will sail on Tuesday 16 September 2008 and visit no fewer than six countries in the Far East. During this deployment SAS SPIOENKOP will be a tangible asset in South Africa’s foreign policy to improve and expand on relations with the countries to be visited.

This will be the longest deployment ever undertaken by one of the new frigates, with visits to Singapore (03 – 08 Oct), Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China (16 – 20 Oct), Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia (25 to 29 Oct), Ho Chi Minh City in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (31 Oct to 05 Nov), Cochin in India (14 to 20 Nov) and Port Louis in Mauritius (26 Nov to 01 Dec). She is expected back in Simon’s Town on 07 Dec.

During this deployment SAS SPIOENKOP will conduct Naval exercises with the Singapore Navy, the People’s Liberation Army and Navy of the People’s Republic of China, the Indian Navy and the Mauritian Coast Guard. She will also interrogate all suspect vessels found in South Africa’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

She will also engage in various diplomatic related activities with all the countries visited. The advanced appearance and modern capabilities of the VALOUR CLASS Frigates make them ideal platforms to conduct diplomatic events in foreign ports. Most of the visitors to our ships are suitably impressed by South Africa when they stand upon one of the most modern warships in the world.

This deployment will expand on good relations with India and Mauritius and lay the foundation for increased relations, trade and co-operation with China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

Notes to members of the media:

SAS SPIOENKOP is expected to sail at 10:00 on Tuesday 16 September 2008. Members of the media interested in capturing this event, can report at Cole Point Gate in Simon’s Town no later that 08:45. Photographic opportunities will include the ship finalising for departure, and the families saying their last goodbyes for three months.

Ends.

ISSUED BY: Public Relations Department
Naval Base Simon’s Town

ENQUIRIES Lieutenant Commander Greyling van den Berg
Media Liaison Officer
Tel: (021) 787 4735
Fax: (021) 787 4710
Cell: 082 807 8057
Email: navpro@telkomsa.net