Shambolic justice system bleeds SANDF of R25 million

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Delays in the criminal justice system has cost the South African National defence Force at least R25 million in the last two years.

The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says it has derived the figure from data supplied by the Department of Defence.

It says there are at least 19 cases where military personnel have been on suspension for two years or more awaiting the conclusion of their cases before the civil and military courts.

“Clearly, South Africa`s slow-moving civilian and military justice systems are damaging the SANDF and costing it enormous resources which are desperately needed elsewhere,” Da deputy defence shadow minister James Lorimer said in a statement.

 

Of the 19 cases, 11 are being conducted within the civilian court system.

Lorimer says the list is headed by three senior officers accused of high treason in the Boeremag trial who have now been on paid suspension for almost seven years.

“That trial has been long and complicated,” Lorimer says. “Perhaps less forgivable is the suspension of another senior officer for six years and nine months on fraud charges, in a case that has cost around R6 million in salary payments to the officer while he has been suspended.”

The military justice system is no less culpable, with eight cases where personnel have been on paid suspension awaiting the conclusion of proceedings, he adds.

The suspended officers face charges ranging from rape to armed robbery, culpable homicide, theft and arson.

“Using the SANDF`s standard rank and salary bands as a guide, the salaries paid to the nineteen soldiers during their suspensions would have amounted to nearly R25 million. That excludes the costs of having to pay other personnel to perform their functions,” Lorimer adds.

“The Minister of Defence needs to take a personal interest in ensuring cases are concluded faster by the military justice system. She also needs to put pressure on her cabinet colleagues to fix South Africa`s shambolic courts. The SANDF cannot continue bleeding money because the justice system is not up to scratch.”

NAME

REASON FOR SUSPENSION

DATE WEF

REMARKS

ESTIMATED TOTAL SALARY PAYOUT AS OF 1 JULY 2009*

Col M.A. Burger – SA Army

High Treason.  Accused in “Boeremag Trial”.

9/10/02

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings (Boeremag Trial). Awaiting decision on possible admin discharge.

R6 million

Col M.D. Kungwane – SA Army

Fraud. Submission of false demobilization claims to the amount of R380 000.

3/11/02

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings. Last court appearance 25 May 09. Case postponed to 30 Jun 09.

R6 million

Maj J. Olivier – SA Army

High Treason. Accused in “Boeremag Trial”.

9/10/02

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings and decision on possible admin discharge.

R2.7 million

Maj P.G. van Deventer – SA Army

High Treason. Accused in “Boeremag Trial”.

9/10/02

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings & decision on possible admin discharge.

R2.7 million

SSgt R.N. Legodi – SA Army

Theft of Mil Equipment. (Engine parts and technical equipment)

30/12/04

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings.

R500 000

SSgt M.N. Ndlhalane – SA Army

Theft of Mil Equipment. (Engine parts and technical equipment)

30/12/04

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings.

R500 000

FSgt S. Qububana – SAAF

Rape. (Allegedly raped a fellow member)

26/01/07

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings. Last appearance 8 Jun 09 – case postponed to 25 Jun 09.

R170 000

PO B. Mbolekwa – SAN

Armed Robbery, Possession of Unlicensed Firearm & Vehicle Theft in Wynberg.

03/11/04

Charges withdrawn 10/2/09. Submission for canc not approved by C SANDF. Awaits C Navy recommendation.

R740 000

Cpl P.M. Ditshego – SA Army

Theft of Mil Equipment. (Engine parts and technical equipment)

30/12/04

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings.

R500 000

LS L. Leibrandt – SAN

Arson. Set FOC Simon`s Town office alight. An alleged accomplice died during the incident.

04/06/04

Convicted on 3/12/ 07 and sentenced to 8 yrs imprisonment. Awaiting Civ appeal – date to be determined. Admin discharge awaited.

R336 000

Cpl M.J. Lethoko – SA Army

Theft of Mil Property (320L of petrol from School of Armour).

28/05/07

Awaiting Mil Court proceedings.  Last appearance 30 Jan 09. Case postponed to an yet undetermined date, due to transfer of Mil Judge.

R345 000

Cpl B.J. Madonsela – SA Army

Theft of Mil Equipment. (Engine parts)

30/12/04

Awaiting Civ Court proceedings.

R500 000

AB F.J. Alexander – SAN

Rape. (Involving a fellow female member of SAS Protea)

02/02/04

Convicted.  Awai-ting C Navy feedback on appeal application

R430 000

Tpr M.S. Marutha – SA Army

Theft of Mil Property (320L of petrol from School of Armour).

28/05/07

Awaiting Mil Court proceedings.  Last appearance 30 Jan 09. Case postponed to an yet undetermined date, due to transfer of Mil Judge.

Unknown

LCpl B.S. Mngomezulu – SA Army

Armed Robbery, Possession of Unlicensed Firearm.

18/10/04

Case temporarily withdrawn.  Cancellation of Suspension submitted, but A/C SANDF instructed Admin Discharge. Awaiting discharge process

R370 000

Amn S.I. Mngadi – SAAF

Attempted Murder, Arson & Damage to State Property.

15/01/07

Awaiting Mil Court proceedings. Last feedback from CAF on 25 Jun 09.

R170 000

Pte M.T. Mvambi – SA Army

Armed Robbery, Possession of Unlicensed Firearm.

18/10/04

Case temporarily withdrawn.  Awaits C Army/ CMPA recommendation for withdrawal of suspension.

R330 000

Pte R. Malema – SA Army

Armed Robbery, Possession of Unlicensed Firearm.

18/10/04

Case temporarily withdrawn.  Awaits C Army recommendation for withdrawal.

R330 000

Brig Gen N.A.M. Nobanda –HR DIV

Culpable Homicide. Convicted of shooting a civilian.

30/08/07

Awaiting Civ Court appeal proceedings. Date yet to be determined.

R1.1 MILLION

*Calculated by the DA using 2008 rank and salary bands