The top man at the Department of Military Veterans (DMV), along with a deputy director general, have both been put on special leave with immediate effect pending an investigation.
Director general Tsepe Motumi and the DMV deputy director general: corporate services Lifeni Make will be on special leave until such time as the investigation, called for by Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, is complete.
“The Minister has, following consideration of a high risk assessment report conducted by DMV internal audit, decided to place them on special leave. This is to allow for an investigation to be conducted on matters arising from the internal audit,” DMV spokesman Mbulelo Musi said in a statement.
Corruption, personal enrichment and discrimination in the awarding of tenders are believed to behind the Minister’s decision.
The investigation will be conducted under the auspices of the Department of Defence (DoD) and will be facilitated by Dr Sam Gulube, the secretary of defence.
Last year the DMV started with a number of high profile engagements to make military veterans more aware of benefits they are entitled to in terms of the Military Veterans Act. These include free healthcare, assistance with further study as well as entrepreneurial assistance and subsidised use of public transport.
In March Motumi said veterans’ benefits would be rolled out in “strategic spending” of R300 million allocated to the DMV by the National Treasury. He also indicated R72 million was allocated for the provision of 505 houses for military veterans in the financial cycle that ended on March 31.
The DMV has also spent more than R3 million on its veterans’ healthcare card campaign. This has seen more than 5 000 veterans issued with cards entitling them to free healthcare at any SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) facility.
The DMV also set aside more than R2 million for bursaries for deserving veterans to further their education.
This figure has been doubled for the current financial year and makes provision for 200 bursaries as well as laptops and other education material for veterans and their dependents Motumi said in a statement issued in March.