The Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans (MoD&MV) is calling on members of the South African National Defence Union to ask their leadership where the almost R1 million they collect monthly is going.
The ministry in a statement adds the Department of Defence (DoD) has also started a process to deregister the union as it “does not meet the required threshold to be in the SANDF.” SANDU and the military have long sparred in court and in press releases on the subject of whether the union has sufficient members – 15 000 – to meet the requirement.
The ministry says SANDU collects close to R10 million annually as membership dues through salary deductions. But it adds that SANDU has not submitted any financial report or audited financial statements to the Department of Defence, as required by the Defence Act, that also governs military labour relations, since 2003. “The ministry is concern[ed] that the deliberate ongoing lies about key operational issues in the SANDF are designed to keep SANDU relevant as many members are beginning to ask about the where about of the annual membership fees and what it is being used for,” MoD&MV spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya said in a statement.
“Considering that SANDU has not submitted any audited financial statements or financial reports since 2003 it is our concern that over R50 million remains unaccounted for by SANDU. We also suspect that SANDU strategy to rush to court every week is also design to convince poor soldiers that their money is at work, whereas the issues can be resolved in a meeting for free.
“Some of the lies SANDU is spreading in the media is that soldiers would be paid less than what other security forces will get, and they know is not true as direct communication has gone to soldiers to inform them that they will not be disadvantaged. They also say home allowance for soldiers have been cancelled; the truth is that you cannot get a house allowance when you stay in a barracks and in a house provided by the SANDF for free. No soldier who stays in a free house will get a home allowance.
“The biggest lie is that soldiers will get their full backpay this month; they know is not true, the money is being phased in every month from savings of the SANDF. The ministry is convinced that the recent spate of lies and disinformation is a desperate attempt by SANDU to avoid explaining the over R50 million they have collected from their members for doing nothing since 2003.”