Parliamentary committee saddened at military recruitment scam

2017-06-28 22:59
SANDF (SANDF: AFP)

SANDF (SANDF: AFP)

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Cape Town – Parliament's Portfolio Committee on defence and military veterans on Wednesday said it was deeply concerned at a military recruitment scam that saw over 200 people conned out of their money.

The Gauteng government rescued the 237 people in Wonder Park on Tuesday. They were allegedly lured to Tshwane with the promise of being recruited into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

"The committee is deeply saddened that people are taking advantage of people’s plight and benefiting from their struggles," said committee chairperson Stanley Motimele.

Committee members called for an urgent investigation into the matter.

They said the defence department should clearly communicate that no fees were required for placement in the SANDF.

"We also urge the youth to be vigilant for such scams and communicate with the SANDF to verify the authenticity of such recruitment processes."

No middlemen

Provincial social development department spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba said that the group had been in Wonder Park since 2016.

"The victims, most of whom are below the age of 30, were recruited mostly from the KwaZulu-Natal province. They reportedly paid R300 for their registration, R1 800 for training, as well as R200 per month since last year for lodging."

"They claim to have been trained as military war veterans under Amabutho Royal Defence, in order to be integrated in the SANDF."

Xaba said the SANDF did not use middlemen to recruit people.

Earlier on Wednesday, the alleged conman, known as "General Ndaba", appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on charges of fraud

According to the social development department, the suspect was a former general in the SANDF.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi confirmed that "General Ndaba" had a military background, but that he was no longer employed by the SANDF.

"He was a member of the SANDF before the integration."

The social development department had enlisted the help of 22 social workers and social auxiliary workers - assisted by the Akasia police, the local community policing forum and members the community - to help the victims and provide them with food.

They would be repatriated to their homes.

The defence committee welcomed the speed at which the department stepped in to offer humanitarian assistance.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Advocate Luvuyo Mfaka said the matter had been postponed to July 5 for a formal bail application.

Read more on:    sandf  |  cape town

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