Fraud and corruption in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) appears to be widespread with the SA Army Support Base (ASB) in Limpopo the latest to be uncovered.
No less than 27 members – 19 uniformed and eight civilians – have been placed on leave on instruction from SANDF Chief, General Solly Shoke, it was announced in a statement issued yesterday.
All 27 work at the base, in the provincial capital Polokwane, and them being on leave “will allow for investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption at the base”, Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.
Earlier this month the SANDF said three SANDF members, one of them a senior officer at the SA Army Support Base (ASB) in Potchefstroom, North West, were arrested in connection with charges of corruption and fraud. The arrests came after an investigation into allegations of fraud and corruption committed eight years ago when an unnamed company was awarded a tender for security fencing around the base.
These arrests were followed by another, this time only said to be a senior officer with no rank, unit or base given, also in connection with charges of fraud and corruption.
The current round of arrests started with that of a brigadier general in the SA Army Signal Formation, headquartered at Wonderboom, north of Pretoria. He and two senior officers under his command were arrested after a joint Defence Intelligence/Military Police investigation regarding maintenance for computers, cabling and air conditioning.
All told the information made public by SANDF Corporate Communications indicates 34 arrests of military and civilian members of the SANDF in Gauteng, Limpopo and North West this month.
Eye Witness News reports two men accused of stealing arms and ammunition from Naval Base Simon’s Town will remain behind bars with the third accused released on bail of R3 000.
“The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says lawyers for Dillon Sewkumar and Duncan Gouviac, who have been charged with housebreaking, theft and contravention of the Explosives Act, could not convince the court it was in the public interest for them to be released on bail.
“The third accused, Karabo Ramakgopa, who took possession of a firearm, was granted bail on condition he reports to Simon’s Town police station daily.
“All three had requested bail, arguing they needed to support their families and further their education.
“The matter has been postponed to September 7 when it will be transferred to the Wynberg Magistrates Court,” the news agency said.