The SA Army is the largest component of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the largest “contributor” to fraud and corruption in the force, topping the lists of convictions and suspensions.
A recent presentation to the Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) by the “top cop” in the SANDF showed 30 landward force “officials”, to use Rear Admiral (JG) Mokgadi Maphoto’s word, are suspended while investigations into corruption and fraud allegations continue. They range in rank from major and brigadier generals through to colonels, lieutenant colonels and captains as well as warrant officer, sergeants and privates.
The amounts involved in the 56 cases under investigation range from R8 million to R95 120 with 14 cases involving millions of rands, according to the presentation by the Provost Marshal General.
The army shares the dubious distinction with the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) of each having three convictions. Fines imposed, not differentiated between military, magistrate’s or commercial courts, are R13 000 for the guilty military medics and R12 000 for the three landward force personnel.
Next on the convictions list is the Logistics Division and the SA Air Force (SAAF) with two guilty parties each followed by the SA Navy (SAN), Joint Operations Division and Special Forces.
The elite soldiers of the SANDF were imposed with by far the highest fines, totalling over R341 000, far more than those incurred by SAMHS (R13 000), Army (R12 000) and the R11 000 of Logistics Division.
Public Service Act personnel (PSAP), the civilian component of the Department of Defence (DoD) and the SANDF are not immune to the forbidden fruits of corruption and bribery with 10 presently suspended. Amounts involved range from R1.2 million to R211 856.
Maphoto’s presentation noted five forensic audits regarding irregular expenditure in the DoD and SANDF.
One is the by-now notorious and ongoing refurbishment and upgrading of 1 Military Hospital in Thaba Tshwane. This R10 million investigation is complete and the Hawks (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation) are in possession of a Military Police Division report.
Other forensic audits completed are for the irregular awarding of a DoD assets management contract (R604.5 million); irregular expenditure at the Catering School (R561 120); another, unspecified, asset management contract (R447 290) and a through life capability management (TLCM) contract valued at R239 040.
The one-star admiral at the law enforcement helm of the SANDF told parliamentarians a summary of DoD and SANDF corruption and fraud cases showed R2.2 billion involved. This is across all four SANDF services (air force, army, military health and navy) as well as Joint Operations, Defence Intelligence, Logistics Division, Command and Management Information Services, Special Forces and the “Office of the former Minister of Defence (Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, now National Assembly Speaker)”.
The money involved in corruption and fraud in the SA Army is R1.065 billion, by far the largest, followed by Logistics (R400 million), SA Navy (R295 million), Command and Management Information System (CMIS) at R234 million, Joint Operations (R138 million), and SAMHS (R58 million).