Court orders Defence Minister to pay after general spat at senior NCO


A senior warrant officer who was on the receiving end of a rant which included shouting and spitting by the current Director: Force Preparation of the SA Army has been awarded damages of R330 000 by court.

The non-commissioned officer is At Malan, now at the Army’s general support base in Bloemfontein in the labour relations section, who was at the Army’s combat Training Centre (CTC) in Northern Cape in 2010 when he found himself on the wrong side of his then officer commanding, Brigadier General Nontobeka Mpaxa.

Unhappy about the way he was treated after he had taken issue with a soldier who had illegally taken a military vehicle, Malan took the matter to court.

He has now been awarded damages of R185 000 by the Northern Cape High court, sitting in Kimberley. With interest, at a rate of 15% a year, the total amount due to him is R330 000, Gauteng Afrikaans daily Beeld reported.

Judge BM Pakati said Mpaxa’s behaviour was “unacceptable” because Malan was in uniform at the time of the incident which took place in front of many people.

The two star general, who is touted in some circles as being the next SA Army Chief, is alleged to have spat at Malan and said she “hated whites” at the time the senior warrant officer was arrested. He was, according to court papers, illegally arrested and taken into custody after he had remanded a junior non-commissioned officer for taking a military vehicle without the necessary authorisation. During the arrest and custody procedure Malan suffered injuries including fractured vertebrae and spasms in the neck. He had to endure the indignity of being taken to the base sickbay while handcuffed.

The newspaper reported no action has, to date, been taken against Mpaxa who was transferred to Pretoria to head up the Army’s Intelligence Formation and was promoted to major general and Director: Force Preparation in January last year.

Malan has, according to the paper, laid charges in connection with racism and hate speech against her with the Military Police.