Still no pay for Umzimvubu Regiment volunteers

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There appears to be no satisfactory end in sight for Umzimvubu Regiment soldiers still waiting to be paid after two years – and two boards of inquiry (BOI).

In mid-April, Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) heard whatever problems there were around the Gauteng/KwaZulu-Natal unrest-related call-up were over. That, seemingly, is not the case and Democratic Alliance (DA) shadow deputy defence and military veterans minister Maliyakhe Shelembe is taking Minister Thandi Modise to task for what he sees as an “apparent lack of commitment” when it comes to the 822 still unpaid volunteers.

His involvement in the Eastern Cape Reserve Force regiment call-up goes back to March last year. That was when he first approached Modise and was told the findings of the BOI would be forwarded to her after SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief, General Rudzani Maphwanya, had sight of it. Just short of a month ago the JSCD heard the BOI recommendations “clearly state” all the men and women who responded to the call-up should be “considered for compensation”.

“We are now in June and Minister Modise remains silent,” Shelembe said, asking if her lack of urgency was possibly due to “personal immunity from the possible consequences faced the these individuals [the unpaid Reserve Force soldiers]”.

He has again approached Modise in correspondence demanding “immediate implementation of the BOI recommendations”.