South Africa’s number two military medic is on special leave, seemingly as a result of his wife’s involvement in fraud running into millions pertaining to transport of military equipment and materiel.
The special leave for Major General Noel Ndhlovu was confirmed to Johannesburg digital daily TimesLIVE by Lieutenant General Zola Dabula, SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) Surgeon General.
A letter dated 21 October seen by defenceWeb states Acting GOC (General Officer Commanding) Area Military Health Formation, Brigadier General KT Ndaba informed all Officers Commanding of the instruction to put the Deputy Surgeon General on precautionary leave of absence (special leave) “with immediate effect until further notice.”
It comes after Ndhlovu’s wife, former South African Airways (SAA) cabin attendant Nombasa Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu, was released on R80 000 bail after appearing on charges of fraud involving about R100 million. The digital publication has it Ntsondwa-Ndhlovu was allegedly “gifted” defence contracts worth R210 million.
“After the spouse of the deputy surgeon-general was arrested and released on bail, SANDF (SA National Defence Force) looked for legal opinion on a way forward as this affected the force,” Dabula said. Legal opinion advised Ndhlovu be placed on special leave.
The suspension, investigation and court appearance are allegedly in connection with moving SANDF equipment from African countries back to South Africa. The equipment, defenceWeb understands, was to be transported by road and rail to a port, in all probability Dar es Salaam, for shipping to South Africa. This was reportedly followed by another similar contract, this time valued at R103 million, which did not materialise when South Africa withdrew from the mission. The only continental peace support mission South Africa has recently withdrawn from is UNAMID, the joint AU/UN mission in Darfur.
At the time of publishing, there was no indication when the general’s wife would again appear in court or how long Ndhlovu will be on special leave.