Thursday, January 17, 2019
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Military Ombud success rate is 80% plus dealing with SANDF complaints

Military Ombud success rateThe South African Military Ombud is currently taking its services to provinces where it will no doubt emphasise the success rate achieved in interventions on behalf of SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members.

In the 2017/18 financial year retired lieutenant general Temba Matanzima’s office took up cudgels on behalf of no fewer than 799 soldiers and other serving defence force personnel. The majority of cases brought to the Ombud offices in Centurion had to do with promotions, demotions and career intervention issues.

Finalised cases at the end of the financial year totalled 664, which translates into a successful intervention rate of just over 83%.

Last month the Ombud office went to Limpopo on the first stop of a national roadshow that will see all nine provinces visited in the next few months.

Stop number two is Mpumalanga where visits to military bases and facilities start today (14 August) and go through until Thursday. While no definite venues have been provided by the Ombud, expectations are staffers will spend time in both Nelspruit and Middelburg and possibly at more remote locations where soldiers are deployed on the Operation Corona border protection tasking. This could see Ombud personnel going to the Sand River base in the Kruger National Park as well as the remote Macadamia base serving the Mozambique border.

Speaking ahead of the Limpopo leg of the outreach, Matanzima said it would go to all provinces to engage SANDF members on Ombud operations. This would ensure airmen, medics, sailors and soldiers would know their rights and the correct procedures and processes to follow when lodging a grievance with the Ombud.

The Military Ombud Office was established in 2012 with the specific aim of investigating and ensuring complaints against SANDF members are resolved in “a fair, economical and expeditious manner”.

The Military Ombud Office is entrusted to investigate complaints lodged in writing by current and former members of the SANDF who are not satisfied with conditions of service. The Office also investigates complaints reported by the public as regards the conduct of SANDF personnel on official duty.

The provincial outreach will be interrupted at the end of September when Matanzima’s office hosts the 10th International Conference of Ombud Institutions for the Armed Forces. South Africa is the first African country selected to host this international event which will be held at Sun City from 30 September to 3 October. Indications are military ombud representatives from more than 50 countries will attend the event.