Fact file: SANDF mandate

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The SA National Defence Force is South Africa’s last line of defence, for use when diplomacy, the intelligence services and the military’s own attempts at deterrence have failed.
US author James F Dunnigan[1] called armed forces “one more bargaining chip in a state’s international diplomacy. If war comes, the armed forces have failed in their primary purpose: to appear too strong to be successfully attacked.”        
 
The SANDF`s mandate is to…
·         Defend against Aggression: To provide a self-defence capability according to international law against any threat of aggression that endangers the stability of South Africa.
·         Promote Security:To provide for the internal and external deployment of military forces to enhance security in support of decisions by the executive.
·         Support the People of South Africa: To provide support to South Africa’s population or other government departments in operations and activities other than war, by using collateral utility.[2]
From whence is this mandate derived?
The above is derived from the Constitution, the Defence Act, the Defence White Paper, Defence Review and the Strategic Business Plan. 
When may the SANDF be deployed?
The employment of the SANDF is governed by the Constitution, 1996, and the Defence Act, 2002.
201. (1) …
(2) Only the President, as head of the national executive, may authorise the employment of the defence force ­
  1. in co-operation with the police service;
  2. in defence of the Republic; or
  3. in fulfilment of an international obligation.
The Constitutional prescription regarding the deployment of the SANDF
And:
CHAPTER 3
 
EMPLOYMENT AND USE OF DEFENCE FORCE
 
Employment of Defence Force
18. (1) In addition to the employment of the Defence Force by the President as contemplated in section 201(2) of the Constitution, the President or the Minister may authorise the employment of the Defence Force for service inside the Republic or in international waters, in order to-
(a) preserve life, health or property in emergency or humanitarian relief operations;
 
(b) ensure the provision of essential services ;
 
(c) support any department of state, including support for purposes of socio-economic upliftment; and
 
(d) effect national border control.
(2) When the Defence Force is employed for any purpose contemplated in paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of subsection (1), the President or Minister, as the case may be, must inform Parliament promptly and in appropriate detail of the-
(a) reasons for such employment;
 
(b) place where the Defence Force is being employed;
 
(c) number of people involved;
 
(d) period for which the Defence Force is expected to be employed; and
 
(e) expenditure incurred or expected to be incurred.
(3) If Parliament does not sit during the first seven days after the employment of the Defence Force as contemplated in subsection (2), the President or Minister, as the case may be, must provide the information required in that subsection to the appropriate oversight committee of Parliament on Defence.
(4) If the Defence Force is employed by the President for any purpose contemplated in section 201(2) of the Constitution, the President must also comply with subsection (2)(e).
(5) Parliament may by resolution within seven days after receiving information contemplated in subsection (2) from the President or the Minister-
 
(a) confirm any such authorisation of employment;
 
(b) order the amendment of such authorisation;
 
(c) order the substitution for such authorisation of any other appropriate authorisation; or
 
(d) order the termination of the employment of the Defence Force.
(6) An order contemplated in subsection (5)(b), (c) or (d) does not affect-
(a) the validity of the authorisation up to the moment of the passing of the resolution by Parliament;
 
(b) the validity of anything done by virtue of the authorisation up to the moment that the amendment, substitution or termination of the authorisation takes effect; or
 
(c) any right, privilege, obligation or liability acquired, accrued or incurred as a result of the authorisation for the employment of the Defence Force, up to the applicable moment contemplated in paragraph (b).
(7) (a) If authorisation by the Minister in terms of subsection (1)(a) cannot be obtained in time to avert imminent danger to life, health or property, the Secretary for Defence, with the concurrence of the Chief of the Defence Force, may, in accordance with a standing arrangement delegated by the Minister in this regard, authorise the employment of the National Defence Force for purposes of that subsection.
(b) The Secretary for Defence must inform the Minister as soon as possible of such authorisation and provide the Minister with the information referred to in subsection (2).
(c) The Minister may cancel the authorisation if he or she disagrees, in which case subsection (6) applies with the necessary changes.
(d) If the Minister agrees with the authorisation, subsections (2), (3),(5) and (6) apply with the necessary changes.
Employment in co-operation with South African Police Service
 
19.(1) The Defence Force may be employed in co-operation with the South African Police Service in terms of section 201(2)(a) of the Constitution in the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order within the Republic.
(2) If the employment of the Defence Force in co-operation with the South African Police Service is authorised as contemplated in subsection (1), the Minister must give notice of such employment by notice in the Gazette within 24 hours of the commencement of such employment and, upon such employment being discontinued, within 24 hours of such discontinuation give notice of the discontinuation by notice in the Gazette.
(3) Service in co-operation with the South African Police Service-
(a) may only be performed in such area or at such place as the President may order at the request of the Minister and the Minister of Safety and Security;
 
(b) must be discontinued in such area or at such place as the President may order at the request of the Minister and the Minister of Safety and Security or when the President deems it expedient for any other reason; and
 
(c) must be performed in accordance with –
(i) a code of conduct and operational procedures approved by the Minister;
 
(ii) such guidelines regarding-
(aa) co-operation between the Defence Force and the South African
Police Service; and
 
(bb) co-ordination of command over and control of members of the
Defence Force and the South African Police Service, as the Chief of
the Defence Force and the National Commissioner of the South
African Police Service may determine.
The Defence Act on the employment of the SANDF. The relevant sections of the Constitution can be found in Chapter 2.  
What are the missions that flow from the above?
The missions postulated for the SANDF for the next year, as postulated in the Military Strategy is:
Defence against aggression 
·         Show-of-force. A demonstration of the readiness of the force to engage in one or more missions. This could, for instance, be done by means of a training exercise.
·         Pre-emptive operations. This is an attack initiated on the basis of a belief that an enemy attack is imminent or under way. (Within the limits of international law regulating the use of force.)
·         Repelling a conventional onslaught[3]. Military operations launched in order to protect and defend South Africa, its citizens and national interests against aggression committed by forces of another state or group of states, excluding the use of nuclear weapons.
·         Repelling of an unconventional attack. Operations conducted against guerrilla or para-military groupings conducting operations that are in conflict with the Constitutional order of South Africa.
·         Repelling of a non-conventional attack. Operations to curb attacks by a-national (not belonging to a specific nation), sub-national (groupings within a country) or meta-national (groupings that span more than one nation, for example multi-national companies or cartels) forces. Examples are religious fundamentalists, warlords or groups trafficking in illicit drugs, piracy, weapons or undocumented migrants. These can be groupings from within or outside South Africa.
·         Defence against an information attack. Defensive measures against an onslaught on South Africa’s military information, information-based processes and information systems.
·         Defence against a biological and/or chemical attack. Defensive measures against the employment of biological agents or chemical products by an adversary to produce casualties in man or animal and damage to plants or matériel, to obtain military advantage.
·         Special operations. Special operations are operations of a specialised nature that are conducted by specially trained and equipped military forces. Special Operations will normally be conducted jointly with different Services, while the authority for these deployments will mainly be granted at the highest or even political level.
·         Protection of foreign assets. Examples of foreign assets that need protection include embassies, high commissions, consulates and related facilities.
Promoting Security
·         Supporting military foreign relations. Military foreign relations could include attachés, own personnel attending courses, foreign students attending own courses or any other activity that will enhance the peace and security-building measures between countries.
·         Defence against an information attack. Defensive measures against an onslaught on alliance’s military information, information-based processes and information systems in which South Africa participates.
·         Sub-regional, regional or international peace support operations observers. A military observer is a person mandated by an international organisation to observe a treaty, military cease-fire, an international organisation or the execution of a United Nations Security Council resolution.
·         Peacekeeping. Peacekeeping operations describe the activities of the United Nations in the field. Modern peace-keeping operations normally involve both military and civilian personnel who are tasked with monitoring and assisting with the implementation of agreements reached between belligerent parties. Such activities are also mandated under Chapter VI of the UN Charter. They take place with the consent of the conflicting parties and do not involve the use of force (other than in self-defence) by the peacekeepers.
·         Peacemaking. Peacemaking is primarily a diplomatic process/activity, which is conducted with the aim of bringing hostile parties to a negotiated agreement through peaceful means.
·         Peace-enforcement. Peace-enforcement describes activities where, in terms of Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council deems it necessary to use armed force to maintain or restore international peace and security in situations where the peace is threatened, where a breach of the peace occurs, or where there is an act of aggression.
·         Peace-building. Peace-building may occur at any stage in the conflict cycle, but it is critical in the aftermath of a conflict. In essence, peace-building is mainly a diplomatic/developmental process.
·         Humanitarian intervention. The provision of safe areas or corridors to ensure the safety of populations caught up in areas of conflict.
·         Search-and-rescue. The use of aircraft, vessels, specialised rescue teams and equipment to search for and rescue personnel in distress on land or at sea.
·         Disaster relief and humanitarian assistance
o       Disaster relief. The provision of support for the preservation of life, health and property in emergency situations which exceed the capacity of the civilian authorities.
 
o       Humanitarian assistance. The provision of support to alleviate human suffering.
Supporting the people of South Africa
·         Maritime support. Support to other state departments which do not have the capacity to execute their maritime responsibilities. It currently consists of the following:
o       The provision of surveillance and enforcement support to the relevant authorities for the protection of marine resources.
 
o       The provision of assistance in the protection of the marine environment against pollution.
o       The provision of transport assistance to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to the Prince Edward Island group, Gough Island and the Antarctic.
 
o       The provision of hydrographic services for the purposes of the Navy, South Africa’s mariners and to other mariners in terms of regional and inter-national obligations.
 
o       The promulgation of radio navigation warnings, notices to mariners, and tidal and related meteorological data to mariners in terms of international obligations.
·         Border-line control. Border-line control is the application of border control between identified ports of entry, such as a border control post. Border-line control includes control between designated ports of entry, as well as airspace and maritime control. Border-line control is a SA Police Service function in which the SA National Defence Force currently assists.
·         Cooperation with the SA Police Service. The SA National Defence Force may in certain circumstance assist the SA Police Service. This assistance excludes police functions such as criminal investigation, arresting suspects, preparing dockets and involvement in the criminal justice system.
·         Search-and-rescue. The use of aircraft, vessels, specialised rescue teams and equipment to search for and rescue personnel in distress on land or at sea.
·         Disaster-relief and humanitarian assistance
o       Disaster relief. The provision of support for the preservation of life, health and property in emergency situations which exceed the capacity of the civilian authorities.
 
o       Humanitarian assistance. The provision of support to alleviate human suffering.
·         Support to other government departments. Providing assistance when other government departments do not have the capacity or during emergencies.
·         Presidential tasks. These are tasks that are performed by the Department of Defence for national interest or at the request of the President. The tasks include support provided on an ad hoc basis when emergencies occur. Examples are: when soldiers are used to curb the spread of foot-and-mouth disease or cholera, the provision of the National Ceremonial Guard, as well as protection and health care of very important persons.
·         Air transport for diplomatic commitments. The provision of air transport for the President, the Deputy President, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Defence and, where capacity allows, other cabinet ministers and provincial premiers.
·         Presidential health support. A comprehensive military health support to the President, Deputy President and other personnel as directed by the President on a 24-hour basis, both internally and externally to South Africa.
·         Maintenance of the health status of members of the SA National Defence Force. Maintaining the health status of individuals and groups at an acceptable level for the South African National Defence Force to fulfill its obligations.
                            
What is the task of the Chief of the SANDF (CSANDF)?
According to the Defence Act[4] the CSANDF – 
·         is the principal adviser to the minister on any military, operational and administrative matter within his competence;
·         must comply with any[5] direction issued by the minister under the authority of the President as contemplated in section 202 (2) of the Constitution;
·         is responsible for formulating and issuing military policy and doctrines;
·         must exercise his command by issuing orders, directives and instructions, and by giving commands;
·         is responsible for the direct management and administration of the SANDF in an effective way, including the effective utilisation and the education, training and development of all members of the SANDF, and employees of the Department where so required by the Secretary for Defence;
·         is responsible for the execution of approved programmes of the budget for the SANDF;
·         must supply the Secretary for Defence with such information with regard to the Defence Force as may be requested by the Secretary for Defence;
·         is responsible for the employment of the Defence Force in accordance with an authorisation in terms of s 201(2) of the Constitution and s18(1) of the Defence Act;
·         is responsible for the training of members of the Defence Force to act in accordance with the Constitution and the law, including customary international law and international agreements binding on the Republic;
·         is responsible for the maintenance of such military response capabilities as may be authorised by the Minister;
·         is responsible for the planning of contingencies which may require the use of the Defence Force;
·         must manage[6] the Defence Force as a disciplined military force; and
·         is responsible for the development of a nonracial, non-sexist and non-discriminatory institutional culture within the Defence Force in accordance with the Constitution and Departmental policy on equal opportunity and affirmative action.
Whilst exercising command and control over the South African National Defence Force, the CSANDF is accountable to the Minister of Defence for the following:
·         Meeting all scheduled and ordered defence commitments as specified in the DoD Strategic Business Plan.
·         Ensuring that the defence capabilities as specified in the DOD Strategic Business Plan for FY2005/06 are contingency ready and cost-effective subject to the constraints imposed by the Defence Vote for FY2005/06 and its medium-term projection.
·         Ensuring, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Treasury regulations, that
  • the system of financial management and internal control established for the DoD are carried out within the SANDF;
 
  • the resources of the SANDF are used efficiently, effectively, economically and transparently;
 
  • the management and safeguarding of assets within the SANDF are regulated; and
 
  • over- and underspending and unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure do not occur.


[1] James F Dunnigan, How to Make War, 4th Edition – A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare for the 21st Century, William Morrow and Company, Inc., New York, 2003.
[2]From the Strategic Business Plan FY2004/5 to 2007/8, the DoD Annual Report FY2003/4 and the SANDF`s Military Strategy.  
[3] The word “onslaught” although a valid term in its own right, here appears to be a crude translation of the Afrikaans, “aanslag”. “Attack”, “aggression” and “strike” might be better terms to use. The term has been replaced below.    
[4] S14.
[5] The word choice is unfortunate. Neither this clause nor any that follow allows the CSANDF to decline an unreasonable instruction or an impossible directive. Yet, the SANDF can only deliver what is possible within the MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework). The SANDF may not budget for contingencies. As a result, “ordered commitments” require the SANDF to divert funds from, for example, its training budget. Adjusting the clause to read: “must comply with any direction issued by the minister under the authority of the President as contemplated in section 202 (2) of the Constitution, provided the funding is available or will be made available immediately from the National Contingency Fund,” may address the question of unfunded mandates in this instance. It is understood General Siphiwe Nyanda resigned in protest in early 2005, a year into a second five-year term, because of the pressure placed on him by the political establishment to deploy forces he did not have.    
[6] The use of the word “manage” is problematic in this context. Military leaders command their forces and manage their equipment. It is easy to blame the lawmaker for the choice of words, but did they write the legislation, or did the department?