Military Ombud reaches out

2015-08-26 06:00

THE South African Military Ombud, Lt.Gen. Themba Matanzima, says his office will maintain its independence by making sure that there is no unfairness when dealing with cases of the personnel of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Matanzima’s office is entrusted with the responsibility of investigating complaints brought by members of the SANDF who are not satisfied with their conditions of service.

The office also investigates complaints brought by members of the public against SANDF personnel whilst on duty.

The office of the Military Ombud was established in 2012 to investigate and ensure that complaints against the SANDF are resolved in a fair, economical and expeditious manner.

The office embarked on a three-day outreach programme at different military bases in the Free State recently.

Matanzima said during their outreach programme questions had been raised by members of the SANDF about the independence of his office.

“We would like to assure the members that we are not politically influenced and we will remain independent from the SANDF,” said Matanzima

“We deal with cases brought by members or against members of the force without fear or favour.”

Matanzima said the outreach programmes were important for the members of the defence force and public so that they could understand the mandate and existence of the office.

At the outreach engagements, the office most importantly educated the military personnel on the processes that needed to be followed when lodging a complaint with the office after exhausted all internal processes within the Department of Defence.

“It is essential for members to understand that they cannot approach the office before following internal processes within the force.

“Our office will remain open to assist them when they are not satisfied with the outcome of their grievances,” said Matanzima.

In instances where the Military Ombud is not able to investigate the complaint, the office advises the complainant of another institution that could assist in resolving the complaint.

Contact the Military Ombudsman’s office on 012-676-3800

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