Om­bud calls for cred­i­bil­ity in SA defence forces

African Times - - News - MTHULISI SIBANDA – CAJ News

THE South African Mil­i­tary Om­bud, Lt Gen (Ret)

Themba Matanz­ima, has urged di­rec­torates and ser­vices within the lo­cal Na­tional Defence Force (SANDF) to be just, fair and trans­par­ent in ex­er­cis­ing power over mem­bers.

His sen­ti­ments come ahead of the An­nual Mil­i­tary Om­bud Sym­po­sium to mark its sixth an­niver­sary, set for the cap­i­tal Pre­to­ria on Wednes­day.

Cel­e­brated un­der the theme, “En­hanc­ing the role of the mil­i­tary om­bud in keep­ing the armed forces ac­count­able,” the event is a gath­er­ing of pol­icy-mak­ers, defence spe­cial­ists and aca­demics where they en­gage on em­pow­er­ing thoughts that may en­hance the op­er­a­tions of the Mil­i­tary Om­bud.

“Ad­min­is­tra­tive over­sight con­sists of pro­ce­dural fair­ness and lis­ten­ing to both par­ties,” Matanz­ima said in a mes­sage to di­rec­torates and ser­vices within the SANDF.

“In essence, in the spirit of Batho Pele (Peo­ple First) Prin­ci­ples we can sal­vage mal­ad­min­is­tra­tion and re­store ad­min­is­tra­tive jus­tice.”

Speak­ing be­fore the Port­fo­lio Com­mit­tee on Defence and Mil­i­tary Vet­er­ans ear­lier this month, Matanz­ima said that in the fi­nan­cial year 2017/18, the Of­fice dealt with 799 cases of which 664 were fi­nalised. About 60 per­cent of the cases re­ceived were mostly about is­sues of pro­mo­tion, de­mo­tion and ca­reer in­ter­ven­tion.

“We are com­mit­ted to pro­mote a cul­ture of good gov­er­nance within the SANDF by en­sur­ing that con­sid­er­able progress is made re­gard­ing our in­ves­ti­ga­tion mech­a­nisms and rec­om­men­da­tions geared to­wards equal ac­cess to con­di­tions of ser­vice,” Matanz­ima said.The Of­fice of the Mil­i­tary Om­bud was es­tab­lished in 2012 to in­ves­ti­gate and en­sure that com­plaints against the SANDF.

Judge Bernard Ngoepe will de­liver the keynote ad­dress at the event in

Pre­to­ria.

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