Choppy waters ahead for Defence Sector Charter

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While those backing the formation of a BBBEE charter for the South Africa defence industry maintain its smooth sailing ahead, the oldest military veterans’ organisation in the country is adamant it cannot go ahead as it currently stands.

At issue for Legionnaire Godfrey Giles, national president of the SA Legion of Military Veterans, is the “agreed and adopted definition” of a military veteran as per the Military Veterans Act of 2011 has not been used in the new charter.

He has pointed this out in letters to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula; Defence Secretary Dr Sam Gulube and Max Ozinksy, acting director general of the Department of Military Veterans. Additionally Giles plans to set up a platform where military veterans can register their opposition to the charter as it currently stands.

Armscor, acting as secretariat for the Defence Sector Charter, earlier this month announced the adoption of the document which now has to be signed off by Mapisa-Nqakula before going to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Indications are it will again be opened for a 60 day public comment and input period by Minister Rob Davies. After this the charter is scheduled to be gazetted in terms of section nine of the Broad Black Economic Empowerment Amendment Act of 2013 as the Defence Sector Code.

In his letter, submitted on behalf of all SA legion members, Giles writes: “The information we have in the first draft was Item 4.14 of the charter, which reads: ‘Military veterans’ means any South African citizen who rendered military service to any of the non-statutory military organisations involved in South Africa’s liberation war from 1960 to 1994; became a member of the new SA National Defence Force after 1994 and completed his or her military training and no longer performs military service and has not been dishonourably discharged from that military organisation or force.
“Now Item 4.34 of draft 7 reads: ‘Military veterans’ means any black South African citizen who rendered military service to any of the non-statutory military organisations involved in South Africa’s liberation war from 1960 to 1994; became a member of the new SA National Defence Force after 1994 and completed his or her military training and no longer performs military service and has not been dishonourably discharged from that military organisation or force.”

This “excludes certain parties” when the definition as per the Military Veterans Act is taken into account he points out.

He asks all three, including Gulube as chairman of the National Defence Industry Council (NDIC), to ensure “the correct and full definition” is adopted for the charter.
“If not,” he asks, “would you please be so kind as to give full reasons for any exclusions”.



At the time of publication the Legion had not received a response from the Minister, the Secretary for Defence or the Acting DG of the DMV.