Deputy President David Mabuza wasted no time in getting to grips with his newest task – military veterans and specifically the support they are supposed to enjoy from government.
Acting on instruction from President Cyril Ramaphosa, the former Mpumalanga premier met with representatives of 11 military veterans’ associations or organisations this week. The consultations saw Mabuza and a team including deputy defence and military veterans minister Thabang Makwetla, meet with MKMVA, MKNC, APLSMVA, AZANLAMVA, CMVO, TDF MVA, CDF MVA, VDF MVA, BDF MVA, SACC MVA and EC MKLWV in two separate engagements.
According to The Presidency, this week’s meetings were the second round of consultations with former and retired soldiers. The meetings come hard on the heels of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) deciding to keep a weather eye on clean-ups efforts of the Department of Military Veterans (DMV) database with a commitment to follow up in three months. Additionally, the JSCD asked the DMV for a detailed report on consequence management against officials implicated in fraudulent and irregular activities concerning the provision of benefits as well as implementation of corrective action.
Mabuza’s military veterans task team will work with the DMV on verification of military veterans “to ensure support is extended to the right people”.
The Presidency statement also notes the “high level military veterans team” will seek solutions to “challenges encountered by veterans” and prepare a report for Ramaphosa.
“We are committed to resolve problems military veterans face and will work with stakeholders across all spheres of government to find a way forward” Mabuza is reported as saying in the statement.