The SA Military Ombud this week hosts the annual military ombud symposium as part of its sixth anniversary celebrations.
The event on Wednesday (May 30) in Erasmia will take place under the theme of “enhancing the role of the military ombud in keeping the armed forces accountable” and will see policymakers, defence specialists and academics engage on ways and means to enhance ombud operations in South Africa.
The Ombud is entrusted to investigate written complaints by current and former members of the SA National Defence Force who are not satisfied with conditions of service. The Office also investigates complaints reported by the public against the official conduct of SANDF (SA National Defence Force) personnel.
Addressing the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans (PCDMV) earlier this month, Ombud retired general TT Matanzima said the 2017/18 financial year saw his office deal with 799 cases of which 664 were finalised. The majority of cases received were in connection with promotion, demotion and career intervention.
“We are committed to promoting a culture of good governance in the SANDF by ensuring progress is made regarding our investigation mechanisms and recommendations geared towards equal access to conditions of service,” Matanzima said.
The keynote address at this year symposium will be delivered by Judge Bernard Ngoepe. Reputable speakers including Defence Public Commission chair, Professor Edna van Harte, retired brigadier general James Machakaire from the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and Advocate Sipho Mantula, UNISA Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa (IDRA) researcher will share ideas with delegates and deliberate on issues intended to deepen understanding on the concept of Ombudsmen and their functionality.