Protector advises new military ombud

2012-05-14 18:01
Pretoria - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has urged the newly-appointed military ombudsman not to hesitate to make objective decisions against the SA National Defence Force.

"Being a member of the family... do not treat the defence community as a mafia," she said at a swearing-in ceremony for Lieutenant General Themba Mathanzima, held at the Thaba Tshwane military base in Pretoria.

"In the mafia if you are a member of the family. You do not make decisions against family. Family is always right in the mafia," she said.

"I hope that that will not be the case with you. If you do that you will render this office not an ombud office, but a lapdog."

She said she had recommended to Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu to have "a military person" appointed to handle grievances in the armed forces.

Former president Nelson Mandela's grandson Mandla Mandela, United Democratic Front leader Bantu Holomisa and many senior military officials attended Monday's ceremony.

May refuse to investigate

Mathanzima was sworn in by Judge Francis Legodi of the North Gauteng High Court.

Defence secretary Sam Gulube said at the event the ombud's brief was to investigate all complaints raised internally by members of the defence force.

"He will not be investigating matters raised in the media or other platforms," said Gulube.

"The military ombud may not investigate a complaint relating to the manner in which a military judge performs his or her functions as a judge. Very importantly, the ombud may refuse to investigate a complaint if the investigation may undermine channels of command in the defence force."

Mathanzima pledged that all complaints raised within the SANDF would be investigated impartially and expeditiously, without fear, favour or prejudice.

"This office is not be feared or perceived as a threat to the defence force, but should exist as an example of proper governance and accountability.

"It is an office that will empower members of the defence force to direct their grievances using proper channels."

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    lindiwe sisulu  |  thuli madonsela  |  military publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

LIVE: Ireland v Italy
LIVE: Argentina v Tonga
Du Preez key to Boks' success
Meyer: 'We are at our best when written off'
Traffic Alerts

Spontaneity is the order of the day. Let go and have some fun. Try not to set too many set plans and expectations and enjoy more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.