Action over army school abuse – report

2013-05-25 11:32

Officials at the Army Infantry School in Oudtshoorn might face disciplinary action or suspension over the physical abuse of recruits.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula would act on recommendations by the ombudsman, following a probe at the school, to have the involved officials suspended and others to face disciplinary action, the Saturday Star reported.

“Whatever they [the recruits] did, whatever crime was committed, if a crime was committed, you can never justify physical punishment and humiliation,” Mapisa-Nqakula was quoted as saying.

The minister said she had written to the chief of the defence force instructing that the recommendations be followed through.

“The ombudsman has good muscles and we have to comply with recommendations,” she said.

The department launched a probe at the school after 10 army recruits were punished for leaving the base to go to a bar.

On their return they were apparently forced to carry around poles and when anyone dropped the poles, they were beaten with broomsticks.

The minister had previously ordered investigations into the school.

One of these investigations was after a female recruit committed suicide. Mapisa-Nqakula said this investigation was inconclusive.

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