Acting Secretary of Defence (SecDef) Tsepe Motumi has been promoted to director general of the recently created Department of Military Veterans (DMV).
The DMV was proclaimed in Government Gazette number 32844, dated December 28 2009. The department will be responsible for the overall management and administration of military veterans’ affairs including, but not limited to, developing legislation, policy, programmes, benefits and services that facilitate the transition from active service to civilian life.
The National Treasury last week allocated the department R20 million for the 2010/11 financial year that begins in April as well as R30 million for 2011/12 and R30 million in 2012/13 as part of the defence budget.
Thre is no mention in the Cabinet statement announcing Motumi’s appointment of a new SecDef. It is understood Motumi will for now continue as acting SecDef, a position he has held since September 2008 following the death of incumbent January Masilela in a car wreck.
The appointment, although long rumoured, comes in apparent contradiction to comments by defence and military veterans minister Lindiwe Sisulu earlier this month that President Jacob Zuma would “soon” appoint a permanent SecDef. She hinted to Members of Parliament’s Portfolio committee on Defence and Military Veterans that Motumi was the likely candidate.
“I would recommend him for any job. He has a lot of experience in defence policy,” Sisulu told MPs on February 9. The president “is comfortable making a choice” at this point after first having had to fill other key seats in the security cluster, notably that of national police commissioner, Sisulu added. “A decision will be announced in due course.” Business Day intimated that she has already made a recommendation to Zuma and that he was “comfortable” with the candidate. The minister was hopeful Zuma would announce the appointment by the end of next month.
These sentiments were shared by defence committee chairman Mnyamazeli “Nyami” Booi, who was confident about Motumi’s capacity, experience and reliability, Business Day added. Also expected in the next 30 days was the appointment of a new chief financial officer. The incumbent, Dudu Mutloane, has been acting for three years.
Meanwhile, it appears that General Godfrey Ngwenya, the chief of the South African National Defence Force, whose five year contract expires in April will remain in office until year end.