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Office of the President (OP)
Government disappointed by unwarranted attacks on BDF
05/08/11

Government is compelled to express its disappointment at what we consider to be unwarranted political attacks in the press directed against the BDF, in the context of remarks attributed to its Commander, Lt. Gen. Tebogo Masire.

Contrary to what has been falsely alleged by some, at the recent BDF Press Conference, the Commander in his remarks was careful to clearly affirm the political neutrality of the BDF. Again contrary to what some have misleadingly reported, neither he, nor anyone else at the Conference to our knowledge, ever spoke of opposition parties, much less expressed any criticism of them.

What the Commander did confirm is that a few politicians (unnamed) had unfortunately sought to compromise the neutrality of the BDF by inciting some of its members to join the recent strike.

Clearly it is such incitement, rather than the Commander's comments, that has the potential to compromise the institutional integrity and political neutrality of the armed forces.

The Commander thus felt compelled to publicly discourage any political interference in order to safeguard the military from any such tendencies.

The above point was the context in which the Commander further stressed that the military was bound by law to reject anything other than a constitutional change of Government. In this respect he was explicit that any "regime change" should take place in accordance with the Constitution.

The Commander went on to further affirm that the BDF will always support any constitutionally elected Government of the day.

Given the full content and context of the Commander's remarks it is unfortunate to say the least that some have sought to tarnish not only his good name, but the overall reputation of the BDF, by twisting his comments so as to make false comparisons with others in the region. 

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