Indications are the “brains” behind the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) recruitment scam uncovered in Pretoria earlier this week is a former member of the then SA Defence Force.
SANDF spokesman Colonel Ronald Maseko today told defenceWeb there was “still a lot of work going on” to establish the background to the scam.
It appears more than 200 young men and women were promised training and placement in the SANDF by a man who allegedly went by the name of General Ndaba. He was arrested following the discovery of 237 people in a house in Karen Park, Akasia, close to the northern Tshwane Wonder Park shopping mall.
According to the Gauteng Department of Social Development, who “rescued” the young people, all said to be younger than 30, had paid what it called “exorbitant sums of money” to be trained and enlisted in the defence force.
They reportedly paid R300 for registration, R1 800 for training and a further R200 a month since signing up last year. According to the provincial social welfare department they were trained by an organisation called Amabutho Royal Defence. This was apparently mandatory for them to enlist in the SANDF.
The SANDF has repeatedly pointed out it does not use outside people or agencies for recruitment. The SANDF has its own central recruitment office, based in Pretoria, and makes use of various provincial and national exhibitions and shows, such as the Rand and Bloemfontein shows, for career and recruitment displays and information sessions.
Gauteng Social Development Department spokesman Mbangwa Xaba is reported as saying the want-to-be soldiers had been at the Karen Park house since last year and they were called to investigate when residents in the area complained about noise from the house.
“We have established the SANDF does not have any middle people for recruitment. He is running an illegal operation from his house. We are waiting for the victims to lay charges, then police and social development will assist in the carrying out of justice,” he said.
Maseko said the SANDF would not be involved in returning the young people to their homes as that was now a social welfare issue but he stressed the SANDF would be investigating the “set-up and find out what was going on”.