His first week as South Africa’s top military policeman saw Rear Admiral (JG) Mokgadi Alpheus Maphoto host a two day anti-criminality seminar tailored for the Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DoDMV).
The seminar, at the offices of Defence Internal Audit in Centurion, was attended by about 50 high-ranking MPs and officers from other SA National Defence Force (SANDF) services and divisions. Its aim to was give, via specific addresses by SANDF legal officers and legal experts from academia and the private sector, a better insight into and understanding of the impact of criminality on the country’s military. Delegates, working in conjunction with speakers, also looked at ways and means of combatting corruption and fraud in the SANDF.
Topics and presentations concentrated on crime, specifically fraud and corruption. The issues of risk, financial management, compliance, good governance, accountability, proper records management, ethical practices and appropriate information technology controls also came under the spotlight.
Investigations by military police, assisted with SA Police Service officers and the Hawks in certain cases, last year saw arrests of serving SANDF personnel in connection with corruption and fraud.
By August three officers had been arrested following what the SANDF then termed “lengthy investigations”. The arrests were done at the Wonderboom military base, north of Pretoria, and at the SA Army Support Base in Potchefstroom, North West. The Potchefstroom arrest related to a contract for security fencing around the base while those at Wonderboom were in connection with tender and contract fraud for computer and associated cabling maintenance as well as maintenance of air conditioning equipment at the base, which is headquarters to the SA Army’s Signal Formation.
Guest speakers at the Centurion seminar, officially opened by SA Air Force chief, Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang, included Brigadier Zama Basi, Head of Anti-Corruption Investigation for the Hawks; Leon Esterhuyse, Director Forensic Examiner at ProScripto; Dr Trevor Budhram, Senior Lecturer, Department of Policy Practice at UNISA; Nobathembu Mkoko, Information Management Consultant at SITA; Karen Neil, Assistant Director Financial Misconduct (Finance Management Division SANDF); Advocate Paul Louw, Prosecutor of the National Prosecuting Authority and senior SANDF officers.