Defence force recruits abused - report

2013-02-04 10:00

George - Allegations of recruits being abused at the Oudtshoorn Infantry School have emerged in a letter sent by a parent to the SA National Defence Force Union (Sandu), Die Burger reported on Monday.

According to just two of several complaints laid out in the letter, written by a female recruit's mother, the recruits were burned with cigarette lighters and male instructors kicked women soldiers.

The union alleged on Tuesday that women at the infantry school were being humiliated for falling pregnant.

Sandu said it would investigate the general treatment of recruits at the base.

According to the letter, recruits were prohibited from seeking help during their first two weeks of training, but were instructed to visit the clinic only to get birth control tablets.

According to the parent, who wished to remain anonymous, male recruits had their faces burned with cigarette lighters.

The mother said she feared for her daughter's safety.

Sandu spokesperson advocate Pikkie Greeff said on Friday he had received no feedback from the army about the letter.

Army spokesperson Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said he was unaware of the letter.


  • Edison Nyamayaro - 2013-02-04 10:18

    its the army girls , not a free meal ticket . walk it off

      sabelo.l.mthembu - 2013-02-04 10:29

      It's the army not kickboxing. Kicking and abuse is not what the army is about.

      mattcredible - 2013-02-04 12:49

      Are you or have you at any time been involved in the military? If so, I am highly shocked that you can be ok with this type of behaviour.

  • kalabafazi - 2013-02-04 10:28

    Nothing new there. Our "soldiers" had their butts kicked when they went to Lesotho. Maybe the SANDF should have written to the UN about this abuse by such a small nation.

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-02-04 10:31

    What they are dowing it totally wrong they are just in the army not special force.That why we have special force for special ops an they are the ones who are getting that training,not army they must belimits

      Adam Magolide Tshuma - 2013-03-26 23:09

      soldering and conmfort are parallel there will never meet.train hard and fight easy.

  • mfanah.radebe - 2013-02-04 10:31

    What they are dowing it totally wrong they are just in the army not special force.That why we have special force for special ops an they are the ones who are getting that training,not army they must belimits - 2013-02-04 14:47

      mfanah, I take it you never did service in any of the armed forces? It is not child's play, from cooks to tampon tiffies gets it during basics!

      Enlightened Bowman - 2013-03-03 12:13

      YOU'RE AN IDIOT!! It is your precise attitude that gets troopers killled and lose battles. Remember the old saying used in many european armies: easy training; hard wars, hard training; easy wars.

  • hugh.olphart - 2013-02-04 10:34

    Don't know how to comment on this, mommy's always take their child's side of the story. Civvy getting drilled out of them at Infantry school takes tough love, and WTF is a pregnant girl doing in Infantry school? She should be discharged.

      ATTIEBEKKERSNR - 2013-08-11 14:17

      The SA Army has got rules in place but most of women hide the pregnancy then get rid of such a member is difficult

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-04 10:36

    Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga is unaware of the letter. Aren't they always unaware?.

      kalabafazi - 2013-02-04 11:34

      Picture it sometime in the not too distant future: "South Africa invaded by Zimbabwe. Brigadier General Mabanga unaware of the invasion."

      Gary Landman - 2013-03-05 16:44

      French Letter?

  • ggsteele1 - 2013-02-04 10:40

    To be very honest...... I don't think a pregnant, emotional, molly-coddled soldier will fare too well in actual combat, which would explain why the "military might" of Lesotho prevailed a couple of yrs ago, & why we shoot ourselves & drown on training exercises!

  • Gxowa Vusumzi Coward - 2013-02-04 10:52

    I'm a soldier myself I dd my training in infantry School.The first month of basic training is extremely difficult for any person.Recruits who r weak do whteva it take to go back home.Not in a million years will the recruit b burned with cigaretts cz they r overprotected.

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2013-02-04 11:01

    My knee-jerk reaction to military personel getting pregnant is that they should immediately be discharged.....but I guess that exceptions and accomodations are possible....meaning that volountary discharge may well be the preferred, but not only, outcome. Any single parent, male or female, that chooses to stay in the military should realise that their PRIMARY responsibility is to the military and their family comes second. But there should be an absolute requirement that such parents enter into legally binding short term-and long-term family responsibilityu/maintenance plans with a non-military person. Legal agreements to ensure adequate care for the child/children. This is not a unique SA problem, check for how another country manages it.

  • jones.mosima - 2013-02-04 11:01

    The recruit contract states that the member is supposed to remain fit until end of two year MSD contract,if u fell pregnant,u must be discharged-so y complain abt sumtin u signed for. De cigarette issue that's bad hey,de instructor mst be charged. Anyway the person who linked this issue to the press,if he's in the force he/she might be in a big trouble,its against our military culture. After all we soldiers we mst be tough individuals nd not complain abt small things, we dnt want sissy soldiers nd spoilt ones. Agg don't ruin our defence, Asseblief. You do training then you finish,then u relax. 2lt Mo J.

  • mmapulaj - 2013-02-04 11:20

    mama's babies mst f*** go hme, thrz no such thng as ppl gtn burnt! Military is soldiers nt kids at creche!

      LRNdou - 2013-02-04 11:57

      This ppl don't understand that the organiztion need the ppl 2be fit at all tym ,when u still in training u comply and compline later.

  • civil.moabi - 2013-02-04 12:03

    those sissies they must f.#* go home, military is not for pregnant women.its either they comply or they go home

  • bonisile.e.khoza - 2013-02-04 12:31

    Lool its so funny how this recruits want to be treated, they ar not special, this s da Defence force if u cnt handle da sh*t u, huis toe, We cnt lower our standerd for this pple, all orginisations an civilians respect us bcos of all da ting we go tru as soldiers, so y mus we drop da standerd. as u were troops da standard wil remain , we want Discipline Soldiers nt fake 1ns.

      DavidBanner - 2013-02-04 13:06

      Oh, don't forget. You also want ill mannered, un educated soldiers as well.

  • charl.overmeyer - 2013-02-04 12:57

    This is not the only incident of abuse in the Army. Coloured youths at the Lenasia base were almost killed by fellow black recruits for being Coloured. If they were not used as punching bags they were starved. Most left within a week to ten days, as they felt their lives were in danger. Some came from as far as the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape. My source: a neighbour's grandson who was also there, and had to run for his life. What a nice racist country we have, don't we? No more white on black racism, but the exact reverse. I am sure the hierarchy within the SANDF are aware of these abuses, and condones it as the overall plan is to eliminate all non-blacks in SA (it seems), through a genocide of the minorities. Is another Rwanda on the cards?

  • mattcredible - 2013-02-04 12:58

    The issue here is not whether this recruit is weak or being a momma's girl. By all means if a recruit gets pregnant, pack her bags and drop her at the gate, BUT whoever made her pregnant should also have their bags packed and sent skopping. 2ndly, this issue of recruits being abused - on basics you are broken down, but kicking and burning recruits is bullsh*t. What Corporal (or Petty Officer in Saldahna) would EVER see the need or reason to do that. Oudtshoorn has a lot of skeletons that Pikkie and his team on picking up on. Civilians don't want a military of thugs that learnt on basics to be bullies, just as much as they don't want a bunch of soft soldiers. Time to re-look at who and how stripes are being given...

  • - 2013-02-04 13:36

    This is outrages allegation I don't believe there is any truth behind this article as far as I know no one has ever suffered from such abuse in training. Defence force is about discipline and human dignity training is intense but you find people who fail to comply and lie cause they afraid to tell they not tough enough for the training. If you feel its not to your standard then quite because being a soldier is about complying and following commands. Don't ruin the name of the defence force because you can't take the pressure!

  • - 2013-02-04 13:45

    I did my Basic training and JL's at Infantry school in Oudtshoorn during 91/92, and it is not a place for weaklings!!!!! Suck it up if you want to be a officer in the Infantry, or get out!

  • jtmotsei - 2013-02-05 22:34

    Soldiering is not child's play and is not for sissies nor for mama's babies. if one is pregnant, why did they apply to he defence force in the 1st place as they now there would be a lot of physical training involved?

  • letlhogonoloshorty.tsilekae - 2013-02-07 14:24

    It goes without sayin in dis organisation MAN ARE SELECTD 4RM BOYS so hardluck bt de fact remains at de end ul c those people whr buildn de real soldier n blv me I injoy their treatment cos I chose2join them#blood in blood out#dts my motto

  • karabo.leratokhatlisi - 2013-02-10 17:45

    Sori mommy,this is the military dat u r talking bout,its nt a child play,if ur daughter can't take it,she must just f.....koff,

      Mokoko Molokomme - 2013-03-08 10:55

      People mst refrain 4rm cumin 2 da defence jst 2b on thr payroll n strt takin dis crus,dis is da 1st line of defence of da country we tokin abt!!!trainin units mst keep up da good wrk,we need soldiers in da country nt sissies!

  • Enlightened Bowman - 2013-03-03 12:15

    @ kalabafazi Zimbabwe will NEVER invade South Africa. what must they do with all the prisoners that have surrendered?

  • Fefe Van Der Hlungwani - 2013-03-24 23:17

    As a citizen and a volunteer, no 1 is forcing a chicken to stay there we made it and we are still alive, an infanteer is the core structure of the army and cannot be build by soft cement or hugs.... Foward with basics!

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