SA Military Ombud to participate in the International Ombuds Expo in Nigeria

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The Office of the South African Military Ombud will participate in the first-ever International Ombud Expo to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, from 28 to 31 October.

The International Ombud Expo 2019 will bring together over 500 national and specialty Ombudsman and grievance handling offices from over 100 countries to showcase and deliberate on critical performance factors.

The expo is convened under the theme of “Extending the Ombud Frontiers: Better Governance, Enhanced Performance”.

Acting Military Ombud Adv. Simphiwe Damane Mkosana says the expo will allow the office to share some of its best practices with the world. She said this is also an opportunity for the Office to learn from other peers on how they deal with their complaints and systems that they use.

Mkosana said the expo is important for the Office as they also hosted a successful International Conference of Ombud Institution of Armed Forces (ICOAF) where a number of resolutions were taken. “We explored mechanisms of introducing the concept of military oversight institutions in Africa.”

She further said the formation of these institutions should be underpinned by democracy, good governance and the rule of law.

The Office of the Military Ombud was created in May 2012 through the Military Ombud Act of 2012 to deal with complaints from current and former South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members who are not satisfied with their conditions of service.

Through the Act the Office is also required to investigate complaints from the members of the public who would like to complain about the official conduct of the members of the SANDF.

South Africa remains the only country in Africa to have a Military Ombud institution.