I write from personal experience as a ex South African Defence Force member from the 1988 intake ( for a 2 year period).
This is my story: At the tender age of 16 years old, having been interested in friends and partying and not taking my education seriously, I found myself flunking out of high school after the first term report card revealing RED circles all the way down for every subject, failing hopelessly ! To the dissatisfaction of my Father not wanting to know anything other than having his son complete his Matric Certificate and enter the working world, I left high school pretending to have found employment with my Standard 8 certificate (Grade 10) which was fictional. I ended up not obtaining any work and wasted more than 9 months doing nothing with my life and close to being kicked out of my parents home (my home). Smoking drinking and taking drugs. Then it happened, I received my National Call up to be in-scripted into the Defence Force for a period of two years which in those years was compulsory ! I had no choice, this was Law and I had to comply.
I had to report for duty in February 1988 for my departure to serve as a signaller in Heidelberg for my Basic training of three months and thereafter a further 2-3 months known as Second phase. Once completed we were then distributed all over South Africa to serve our remaining term. I ended up having been flown to Windhoek and travel by road for hundreds of kilometres to South West Africa for border duty and spending 9 months in a town called Oshikati ! There I served for 9 months until Resolution 435 came into effect and all SADF members had to evacuate out of South West Africa.
I spent my last 6 months to complete my 2 year service in Pretoria at a base called Special Investigation Unit HQ (Swatkops).
The reason for this story is to make all of South African parents who have young males in their homes aware that by having experienced military training, I had a very positive outcome for a young lad as myself being conscripted into the Military Force, I had learnt Self discipline, Respect, Honour and Integrity and a willing and able citizen of South Africa to be a Law abiding Citizen who ultimately became a MAN with many attributes and ready to face Society and the Business and working world.
Today this can only apply to young men who volunteer for service, and I am sad to say that in general our young men today at the ages of 17-19 find themselves far from being disciplined, having respect for themselves and the next person, Honouring their parents and being law abiding citizens. They also find themselves dropping out of school before matriculating, only to end up without work and walking the streets, possibly joining gangs and experimenting with alcohol and drugs and even having sex before marriage, being extremely irresponsible and ultimately throwing their future careers and life down the drain.
There are far too many young men out there finding themselves in this very situation. Society becomes a attitude of ( I don't give a damn and this is my life) NO ONE CARES !!!!This can only lead to eventual dis-integration of Society and our prisons become overcrowded because of criminal activity.
In my personal point of view we should ask the question: (SANDF Service) - "COMPULSORY OR VOLUNTARY " ???
You know my answer: I say YES to once again being ............Compulsory! What would your answer be?
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