Just over a month into her position as South African deputy military ombud Advocate Rendani Marivate finds herself leading a delegation to the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) conference in Burundi.
Marivate left the SA Navy as a junior grade admiral earlier this year to join retired general Temba Matanzima’s staff at the ombud offices in EcoPark, Centurion.
The Burundi conference is being held under the theme of the role of national ombudsman institutions in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. It is organised and presented by the Office of the Ombudsman of Burundi.
AOMA was established 16 years ago at the Seychelles regional conference of the African Ombudsman Centre (AOC) board of trustees via a resolution calling for an association.
Ahead of the Burundi conference, Marivate said AOMA was an important vehicle for the advancement of African peace and security issues.
“The coming together of ombud institutions is encouraging as we try to find solutions for African problems in our own way. South Africa’s participation is imperative as the country has a huge role to play on the African continent when it comes to peace missions,” she is reported as saying in a statement.
South Africa has currently only committed personnel and manpower to one peacekeeping and peace support mission on the continent. There are currently around 1 300 SA National Defence Force troops from at least three services deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the UN MONUSCO mission, under the leadership of former South African Joint Operations chief, Lieutenant General Derrick Mgwebi.
South African military elements deployed to Darfur in Sudan as part of the UNAMID mission withdraw in May last year after being part of the mission since its inception in 2008.