The days of fraudulent call-ups in the Reserve Force are numbered, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Chief Reserves, Major General Roy Andersen, warns.
This comes ahead of SA Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lindile Yam, receiving the report of a board of inquiry appointed specifically to investigate the issue of fraudulent call-ups in Army Reserves, which affects mainly the landward and military health services.
“I am absolutely committed to eliminate corruption from the Reserves and have the full support of the Military Command Council on this issue,” Andersen said.
A further demonstration of the commitment shown by the country’s highest ranked part-time soldier comes from his recent itinerary which saw him address members from no less than 34 Reserve Force units.
“I made it clear corruption and fraud will no longer be tolerated.”
The board of inquiry report on fraudulent call-ups is expected to land on Yam’s desk within the next week or so. Andersen, who has had no part in the inquiry, understands it contains about 30 recommendations to put a halt to the pernicious practice of fraudulent call-ups.
Andersen said as of now the whole issue of Reserve Force Call-ups was under the microscope with careful and thorough examination of “who, what and why”.
“This will show trends, if any, as far as the number of call-ups per specific Reserve Force member and also allow for the removal of the old and sick from the Persol system,” he said, adding if a part-time soldier is found to have been called up more often, it did not necessarily indicate any possible criminal offence – “it could be the man or woman is a good soldier and is called up more often because the service given is valuable”.
Andersen sees the fine-combing of the Persal listings as step one with step two and three following.
Step two will in future see call-ups done by committee and not a single person as had been the case up to now. This, Andersen maintains, will make it “hard, very hard” for someone to unnecessarily be called up or to be given preference as there “will be more than one head involved in the decision-making process”.
“Fairness and equity is what is wanted for Reserve Force call-ups.”
Step two will see the SANDF Provost Marshal, the Inspector General of the SANDF, Defence Intelligence and SA Army and SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) and Defence Reserves collaborating.
“The military police, Inspector General and Defence Intelligence all have their own lines of investigation. By pulling everyone’s information together and analysing it will allow for swift action and eliminate weaknesses and strengthen the call-up system,” he said.
In another development around the issue of alleged fraudulent call-ups, a SAMHS Regular Force major is appearing in the magistrate’s court and could soon be discharged from the service.