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Minister Mapisa-Nqakula to be quizzed on Molefe’s military status

Defence Minister to be questioned on MolefeA lengthy explanation by the Department of Defence (DoD) on what position – or positions – Brian Molefe holds in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has not satisfied the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party shadow defence and military veterans minister.

Following reports the former Eskom chief executive and short-lived Member of Parliament is both an honorary colonel and a member of what DoD head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini, terms a “pool of specialists” in the SA Army Reserve, Kobus Marais wants clarity.

“I will be writing to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, to request that former Eskom boss of Saxonwold shebeen infamy, Brian Molefe’s, appointment letter be made public so there can be clarity over whether he is a Reservist or an Honorary Colonel,” Marais said.

He maintains a person cannot be an honorary colonel and an active Reserve Force member. “You are either one or the other,” he said, adding reports at the weekend have it that Molefe earns R57 000 a month when he is called up for duty as a Reserve Force officer. This figure was confirmed to defenceWeb as the gross wage, before deductions for a colonel in the Reserve Force.

Marais wants Mapisa-Nqakula to produce Molefe’s appointment letter.

“That should confirm whether he is an honorary colonel or a Reserve Force colonel, but we want proof if he is in fact a colonel in the Reserve of what courses he has done and successfully completed to ‘earn’ his rank.”

Also worrying to the DA MP is use of Molefe when mandays allocated to the Reserve Force are going down.

“Surely, Reserve Force members can be better employed on border protection duties or deployed s part of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Marais asked.

Molefe is an honorary colonel of the SA Irish Regiment, widely expected to be one of those whose names will change when new names are announced for 40 of 66 SA Army Reserve Force units.

According to the Defence Act when it comes to honorary appointments and ranks: “The member must be of good standing in the community; the member must possess an appropriate military bearing, have such officer-like qualities as are generally required of officers of the defence force and his or her conduct must be beyond reproach; and the member may not receive remuneration...”