Deputy Military Ombud appointed


A 20 year SA National Defence Force (SANDF) legal veteran has been named as the country’s deputy Military Ombud.

Rear Admiral (JG) Rendani Masutha took up duties as deputy to retired lieutenant general TT Matanzima at the beginning of this month.

The office of the Military Ombud was established in 2012 and in the first five years of its existence has dealt more with more 1 500 cases. These have involved disputes around promotions, post grading, termination of service, dismissal, pay progression and deployment.

Masutha will join the retired three star general heading up an organisation where unhappy airmen, military medics, sailors and soldiers can find help with “unresolved grievances after exhausting all mechanisms in the Department of Defence (DoD) individual grievance system” according to Ombud head of communication, Nthombikayise Mdluli Jacha.

She served as director: military defence counsel in the SANDF Legal Services Division from 2011 to March 31 this year. A statement said she was responsible for an affordable, fully integrated, credible, sustainable, effective and efficient military defence counsel service for members of the SANDF whenever required.

Masutha graduated from the Naval College in 1995 and was, according to the statement, the first black female legal officer at the Navy legal office in Simon’s Town. Following her time as a military law officer she transferred to military prosecution counsel and became a military judge in 2004. She was a senior military judge from 2005 to 2011. The Thohoyandou-born legal officer was promoted to the rank of Rear admiral (junior grade) in June 2011.