Charges laid against second SANDF general officer


The commitment by SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief, General Solly Shoke, to rooting out criminality in the military has netted another general officer.

A terse statement issued by Department of Defence (DoD) head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini, has it that “an ongoing joint investigation between the military police and defence intelligence divisions of the SANDF into alleged fraud and corruption activities has resulted in further criminal charges being laid against another general officer”.

The charges laid this week follow the arrest of Major General Nontobeko Mpaxa on similar charges early in November. Mpaxa is Director: Force Preparation of the SA Army and was believed to be in line to become the first female chief of the landward service of the SANDF.

Dlamini does not supply any further detail on the officer, including his or her name and unit saying only charges were laid on December 12 and there was an appearance before “the Court of Military Justice on the same day”.

He also repeats Shoke’s oft-issued warning that corrupt activities will not be tolerated in the SANDF.

Mpaxa’s arrest in November came after a lengthy joint investigation involving defence intelligence and military police. It was apparently in connection with a company supplying rations to the SANDF and for her not declaring all her interests. One of these is a company the address of which was apparently given as the SANDF Intelligence College in Pretoria, where Mpaxa was at one time commandant.

An indication of crime levels, including theft, in the SANDF came to light in an answer to a Parliamentary question in October. Freedom Front Plus MP Pieter Groenewald was told there were 272 reported cases of theft from military bases and installations in the 2016 calendar year. Cash, computer equipment, weapons and ammunition were among items stolen prompting Groenewald to say the “plundering” of SANDF assets was indicative of a collapse in the force’s management structure.