Subject Briefing - Military Ombudsman: Portfolio Committee Date 27August2OO3
(a) Synopsis indicative of the types of military cases handled by the office.
Pension enquiries - these relate to non payment of members' pension benefits after leaving the SANDF. Claims that the SANDF is unduly delaying in processing documents for National Treasury to effect payments.
Complaints of allegations of unlawful dismissals. These also relate to discharges imposed by military courts.
Compensation for injuries - complaints about injuries sustained during the course of duty where complaints never get compensated.
Merit bonuses-complaints not addressed by the SANDF even when channels of command have been followed.
Staffing - A number of complaints coming from the Non Statutory Force (NSF) members who feel that they are the only ones given short term contracts whilst the former SADF and other statutory forces are employed on a permanent basis. New strategy for achieving new force design not appealing to them as it has caused workforce reduction which affected the NSF mostly.
Complaints about promotion - allegations of not being promoted although complainants qualify to be promoted. Complainants not being nominated for courses.
Complaints about racism within the SANDF. Abusive language, failure to empower members, assaults and intimidation - These not taken seriously by the SANDF Military Police who are not willing to investigate complainants cases.
The burning issue at present relates to Integration and Demobilisation of the Non Statutory Force (NSF) members.
Integration - NSF aggrieved about the process they underwent during integration. This includes placement i.e. some complainants alleging that they were under ranked.
Applications for demobilisation gratuities - NSF members excluded from receiving gratuity because their names were not appearing in the CPR (Certified Personnel Register) as required by law.
It has been difficult for the Office of the Public Protector to deal with these issues satisfactorily, and we see the intervention of the Defence Portfolio Committee and even politicians relevant herein to address the impasse.
Some of these matters are not new to the Defence Portfolio Committee. A letter was written from the Public Protector's office during 5 June 2001 to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee regarding complaints received from some of the former NSF members regarding their demobilisation applications. It is regrettable that no response has been forthcoming.
The investigation by this office of the Public Protector has revealed that there were bona fide applicants whose names, for various reasons, did not appear in the Certified Personnel Register (CPR), but whose names nevertheless have been confirmed by their respective organisations. In terms of the law, these people are excluded from integration and demobilisation if their names do not appear in the CPR. There is nothing much that the Public Protector can do about this, except with the intervention of the committee mentioned above which may have much influence on matters of policy and the legislation.
The office has recently been approached by a number of former APLA members who also indicated their dissatisfaction at the manner they were integrated. They have however since absconded but I still believe that something could have been done either by their various organisations and or the SAN DF to address their problems.
S 5(1) of the Demobilisation Act provides among others that any former member of the NSF would be able to demobilize if his/her name appears in the CPR or in a personnel list.
Termination of Integration Intake Act, 2001 also applies to members whose names and other particulars appear in the personnel list or the CPR.
Although there were amendments to extend the date of submission of applications for demobilisation gratuity, it remained that the applicants' names had to appear in the CPR nevertheless, which made it difficult for those previously denied gratuity, to qualify. The office of the Public Protector is not aware of any new CPR compiled after the amendments or if new names were included in the existing CPR for consideration by the Demobilisation Committee.
The predicament in which these people find themselves, is sometimes not of their making.
It has been found that there were problems encountered during the processing of their
applications either within their various organisations when collecting data or within the
SAN DF when applications were adjudicated upon.
STATISTICS OF COMPLAINTS RECEIVED FROM MEMBERS OR THE SANDF
2003 -28 (to date)
5 182(1) of the Constitution Act, 1996, provides as follows
(1) The Public Protector has the power, as regulated by national legislation-
(a) to investigate any conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice
(b) to report on that conduct; and
(c) to take appropriate remedial action
Section 6(4) of the Public Protector Act provides that the Public Protector shall, in addition to any powers and functions assigned to him or her by any law, be competent to investigate on his or her own initiative or on receipt of a complaint, any maladministration in connection with the affairs of government at any level. He also has jurisdiction to investigate any complaint against any person performing a public function or against public entities or any institution in which the State is the majority or controlling shareholder.
The Office of the Public Protector would still have jurisdiction over military matters even if the office of Military Ombudsperson were to be established independently from this establishment. There is nothing wrong in having an internal mechanism within the SANDF, which would deal with complaints from members against the SAN DF but this does not and will not preclude any person to refer his/her matter to the office of the Public Protector after exhausting his/her internal remedies.
With kind regards
MR M L MUSHWANA
PUBLIC PROTECTOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
D N Scrooby
Ms T R Modise MP
Defence Portfolio Committee
P0 Box 15
Dear Madam Modise
RE: DENIOBILISATION AND INTEGRATION OF FORMER NON-STATUTORY FORCES (APLA & MK): SANDF
For the past two years my office has dealt with a number of complainants who sought my assistance regarding the refusal of their applications for demobilisation gratuities by the Defence Secretariat:
Demobilisation Committee. My office has corresponded with the Defence Secretariat, and the outstanding matters, which may be well founded and deserve further investigation, are listed on the Annexure hereto.
In the majority of complaints received by my office, the complainants were not able to furnish any satisfactory proof of their having applied for their names to be added to the Certified Personnel Registers (CPR) before 31 March 1999.
Having taken note of the Demobilisation Amendment Bill as well as the Termination of Integration Intake Bill, I respectfully request that your Committee instruct the Secretary' for Defence to attend to the outstanding matters and to report back to your Committee on the resolution thereof.
The investigations conducted by my office and the replies received from the Defence Secretariat reveal that the individuals listed in the Annexure hereto may have applied through the correct channels for a demobilisation gratuity' or that their names be added to a CPR, but that these applications were not properly processed. Our finding was that in certain instances the personnel administration of the MK and AFLA Offices as well as that of the Defence Secretariat was not very efficient.
The Defence Secretariat furnished my office with copies of the CPR of both APLA and MK members as well as details of the Audit report. It is noted that a total of 32876 MK members and 9403 APLA members were listed on the CPR. Considering that 1 5805 non-statutory' force members were integrated into the SANDF and that there were 11738 applications for demobilisation gratuities of which 2243 application were refused listing on the CPR, primarily' because their membership of APLA or MK could not be verified; and noting that there remain 262 former non-statutory' force members to be integrated, I find the process of integration into the SANDF and demobilisation, as administered by the Department of Defence, to be in order
The further integration intakes to accommodate those non-statutory force members who did not integrate before 1996 appear to have achieved the objective of finalising the integration process. It appears that the reported incidents of fraudulent enlistment and maladministration in the integration and demobilisation process are relatively low.
Nevertheless I do find that the individuals listed on the Annexure hereto were improperly prejudiced during the process of integration and demobilisation and I recommend that these persons be paid demobilisation gratuities after the Secretary for Defence has investigated and reported back to \our Committee. l also recommend that all the reported cases of fraudulent integration and/or demobilisation be thoroughly investigated and referred to both the National Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief of Military Legal Services.
\\'ith kind regards
SELBY BAQWA SC
Mr M G P Lekota MP
Minister of Defence
Private Bag X427
1. Reference 7/2 - 0624/96
6611275374 OS 8 Tanduxolo Kingsley Nokele - MK
Complainant was imprisoned until 1998 and alleges that he applied for demobilisation, originally whilst in prison and thereafter at the former Eastern Province Command headquarters. The Demobilisation Committee have no record of this application.
2. Reference 7/2 - 11 53/99A
520325 5934 OS S Ralekau Kenneth Mogotsi - MK
The Defence Secretariat furnished contradictory' answers, however it appears that
R K Mogotsi is listed on the MK - CPR. The complainant furnished details of
his application for a special pension but no application for a demobilisation
gratuity was received by the Demobilisation Committee.
3. Reference 7/2 - 1501/99
7105070567086 Sindisiwe Surprise Mvuyana - MK
Complainant alleges that she did apply for a demobilisation gratuity at the former
Natal Command on 23 September 1998. The Demobilisation Committee have no
record of this application.
4 Reference 7/2 - 1856/99
640524 5846 OS 9 Stephen Donald Makhura - MK
Complainant was serving a sentence of imprisonment and was granted amnesty by the TRC on 2 1 July 1999. According to complainant he first applied for a demobilisation gratuity' whilst in prison in February' 1998. Upon the advice of one Brig Mudumu, complainant's brother Elvis, made application for his name to be added to the NIK - CPR, this application was handed in personally at Defence headquarters. About six months later, complainant's sister Susan submitted further biographical details to Defence headquarters. The Demobilisation Committee have advised that complainant's name is not on the MK - CPR.
5. Reference 7/2 - 3 109/98
5510165421 03 I Phindisile Nelson Boboyi - MK
This complainant applied repeatedly to integrate into the SANDF. His application to integrate and to have his name added to the MK - CPR was in time, however due to inefficient administration his application was not processed by the Defence Secretariat.
6. Reference 7/2 - OS 14/00
6410035795087 T A Ntoni- MK
Complainant alleges that he submitted his application to the Castle in Cape Town in 1998. The Demobilisation Committee have no record of the application.
7. Reference 7/2 - 4236/99
581218594008 0 WiIliam K Manala - MK
Complainant states that he submitted his application before 31 March 1999 to the
Johannesburg MK Offlce. The Demobilisation Committee confirm that a Willy
Manala is listed on the NIK - CPR, however there is no record of an application
for a demobilisation gratuity.
8. Reference 7/2 - 3398/00
Dennis Lucas Kgatitsoe - MK
Complainant alleges that whilst imprisoned in 1997 and 1998 he made application for demobilisation, complainant alleges that he received amnesty on 22 October 1999. The Demobilisation Committee advise that complainants name is not listed on the MK - CPR and there is no record of his application.
9. Reference 7/2 - 3396/96
700701 5611 088 Samuel Mongalisekile Bani - APLA
Complainant alleges that he submitted his application forms in February 1998. The APLA Office reported that S M Bani was on the APLA - CPR, however that someone had fraudulently integrated using this name. The Demobilisation Committee reported that there was no record that complainant applied for a demobilisation gratuity. No report as to the alleged fraudulent use of Mr Bani's name has been submitted by the Defence Secretariat.
10. Reference 7/24642/00
4311145165087 Z M Dlamini-APLA
Complainant alleges that he timeously applied in 1998 at the former Eastern
Province Command. The Demobilisation Committee received an incomplete
application from Z M Dlamini, after 31 March 1999.
11. Reference 7/2 - 1862/00.1863/00, 1 864/00
Messers S Leva, L Loni and P Tabata - APLA
These three complainants allege that their names appeared on the CPR of APLA members, however that they could not integrate into the SANDF because some other persons had fraudulently used their names. No report as to the alleged fraudulent use of their names has been received from the Defence Secretariat.
Mr T Mashimbye MP
Joint Standing Committee on Defence
P0 Box 15
Mr J B Masilela
Secretary for Defence
Private Bag X910
General S Nyanda
Chief of the SA National Defence Force
Private Bag X414