Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula is not happy about the high rates of ill-discipline and misconduct in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).
“It tarnishes the image of the SANDF as well as the political authority. It goes beyond that – some of these matters catch the attention of the Commander-in-Chief as well as Parliament,” she told a communications session with her general and flag officers in Thaba Tshwane this week.
“The question then arises ‘what kind of officers and other ranks do we have?’ Are we doing enough to stem the tide of misconduct and ill-discipline? Are you as General and Flag officers ensuring your subordinates adhere to the Code of Conduct as well as the provisions of the Military Disciplinary Code (MDC)?” she asked.
Her reprimand of the senior officer cadre in the national defence force comes just on a month after she took the country’s defence attaché corps to task for not doing enough. Mapisa-Nqakula told the September defence attaché conference “in certain instances the nature and calibre of defence attaches is not up to the task”.
She said to the close on 60 attaches present: “Some among us have not acquitted themselves well and I have taken the decision that they shall be withdrawn with immediate effect”. She did not elaborate and there has been no statement from Defence Corporate Communications on the appointment of new defence attaches.
On the Department of Defence’s (DoD) continued receipt of qualified audits- three in the past three financial years – Mapisa-Nqakula told the general and flag officers gathered at the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) Training Formation they had to take full responsibility and accountability for “actions, or omissions to act”.
She added: “We need to have full control and accounting of all resources we are entrusted with – be it human, materiel and financial resources. Our failure to do so results in some of the qualifications”.