Military base pregnancies cause furore

2013-01-29 20:03

Johannesburg - Women at the SA Infantry School at the Oudtshoorn military base were being humiliated for falling pregnant, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) said on Tuesday.

"The female members of the SA National Defence Force involved are entitled by their contract of service to full maternity benefits," spokesperson Pikkie Greeff said.

"This makes the conduct of the commanding officer concerned all the more ludicrous and obscene."

In a letter written to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on Tuesday, the union called on her to suspend the commanding officer, failing which it would help the women approach the Equality Court.

SANDF spokesperson Xolani Mabanga said he was not aware of the letter.

On Monday the officer called in at least seven women instructors at the base and reprimanded them "heavily" for falling pregnant, the union wrote in the letter.

The women were told they were a disgrace to the defence force and would be transferred to other units as they were "unwelcome" at the base.

"The officer also told them that he would personally apologise to the new recruits for the 'poor quality of instructors' who fall pregnant," the union wrote.

A pregnant trainee at the base committed suicide as a result of the treatment, the union claimed.

Mabanga said Sandu was aware of rules and regulations governing the behaviour of defence force members.

"Most of those in charge at Sandu were once members of the defence force and are fully aware of the rules regarding the conduct of officers as per the Defence Act."

He said the union had a personal agenda against the Oudtshoorn base and its commanding officer.

"There are females in many other bases who fall pregnant. Why are they concerned about Oudtshoorn only?" Mabanga asked.

He said the union was fully aware why the woman trainee committed suicide at the base.

"I do not want to discuss the suicide out of respect for the woman's family... she left a suicide note, the contents of which the union is fully aware."

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-01-29 20:40

    This is the result if you shoot without a silencer!

      squeegee.pilot - 2013-01-29 21:01

      Eish don't shoot, I'm in labor...

      denis.gomo - 2013-01-30 08:23

      Supply fully stocked boxes of condoms in rooms at the barrackes. In addition, saw an additional pouch on the womens army uniform for compulsory condom storage everytime...just like a gun holster...and make them sing "Be-prepared it's our motto" every time before they knock off.

  • peter.fisher.54966 - 2013-01-29 20:44

    Soldiers falling pregnant?.Soldiers are there to fight!

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2013-01-29 20:50

      SA's Soldiers belive in: Make love not war.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-29 21:27

      Maybe they practice bumper bellies. Make one wonder what they “instruct” in.

      pulerain.nelly - 2013-01-30 05:49

      pter, koos nd nettie. come on guys those people are human beings at the end of the day, hw many kids do u have wena? so soldiers must not have kids? get your reasoning skills right, dnt jst comment for the sake of commenting.

      hugh.olphart - 2013-02-04 10:39

      Since 50% of the defence force is HIV pos, maybe the strategy is we shag the enemy to death?

  • ltmodise - 2013-01-29 20:50

    Arrggg come on people! There is nothing wrong with these ladies being pregnant... Everyone wants to start families sometime in their lives. As for that officer maybe he would have been fine if he made all those ladies pregnant himself

      thaluki.malema - 2013-01-30 06:38

      @ltmodise -Lol and start his own army...

  • yaya188 - 2013-01-29 20:56

    Well, the 'job' is only that, as far as they are concerned ...not a calling? Look at it this way, and I am not being rude here; they have a salary, free medical aid, pregnancy benefits etc.....better than the teachers ne? Maybe not on reflection. Oh well, this is Africa......why not take advantage of the system. Tumbs down are gonna come thick and fast.

      hugh.olphart - 2013-02-04 10:43

      Yaya, you nailed it there.

  • makhosonke.mqikela - 2013-01-29 21:07

    They seem to have nothing to do but... you know!! The defence should keep them busy everyday in that way they might even reduce some kilos.

  • aldo.dunn1 - 2013-01-29 21:32

    You guys are all missing the point here. Infantry School in Oudthoorn is where the next crop of leaders in the defence force are trained & theses Ladies are their instructors, that's why there is in issue with this particular base. What sort of message are you sending to the future leaders when your instructors are all falling pregnant???

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2013-01-29 21:35

      Ask Zuma.

      Jp Jamy - 2014-10-10 02:39

      that there are a few "favored" recruits??

  • mpaki.mahowa - 2013-01-29 22:38

    U know ppl of R.S.A we have lost our morals 4 real, 4 u all 2 be saying such things in the expence of other ppls miseries. U don't even know if those woman r married nor in wich kind of lifes but u r so quick 2 judge. They r there yes 2 train the new recruits its there job they may have done what they did but still ppl I don't think its something that concerns any of us up until facts r said.

  • bmmutle2 - 2013-01-30 03:04

    They are human beings irrespective of what their contracts says

      Bennie Joseph - 2013-03-25 07:00

      there u have it give the old vetarens the job

  • weldon.broughton - 2013-01-30 05:34

    That's what happens when you put men and woman together lol

  • mordikaai.speak - 2013-01-30 06:50

    To little information but as with any Military institution there is a justified reason for the reprimand more facts needed some information is being withheld.

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2013-01-30 07:20

    just shows you what soldiers are keeping themselves busy with and even get paid for it (by us, the tax payers)

  • chris.vandermerwe.560 - 2013-01-30 07:55

    Sound to me the were very welcome and what else is there to do to pass the time, we are not at war; thus they made love.

  • FireMlilo81 - 2013-01-30 08:22

    To those who are against those ladies being pregnant, u should jst shut the **** up cos u don even hav your facts. Yes, there may be an agreement that those facilitators must nt be pregnant but if God needs that woman to producean then no 1 will stop that.

      Jp Jamy - 2014-10-10 02:46

      can you honestly say that as a God fearing man that you believe that God intended for these women to raise kids in the army where the job of these women is to deal death when a enemy arises i don't see how that could lead to a live closer to God who abhor war

  • rory.n.price - 2013-01-30 08:38

    Who's the Daddy then, he should use contraceptions

  • Mmalesego Mahlangu - 2013-01-30 08:57

    2 all of u wh dnt knw anthng abt th mil law dnt say anthng nd leave th racist nonsense .no law says u cnt b pregnant espclly whn u hve been long in defence . thy r huamn being thy also hve life aftr work nd thy hve ryt 2 plan 1 . so stop postng stupid stuff nd u vandermerwe go nd luk in th mirro also nd tell me if ur a south african r a foreigner.mxm - 2013-01-30 10:17

      Another outcomes based education failure....

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-30 09:05

    If the instructors were part of the physical training operations team, then I will also see a problem with it. A pregnant woman cannot run for kilometres on end, if she is pregnant. Sure in the beginning stages of the pregnancy it is not a problem, but from 5-6 months onwards, "drilling" with recruits will become a problem. It depends in which sections/divisions they were stationed. From the woman's side, if they knew they are part of the "drilling" operations and found out about there pregnancy, they could have asked to be move temporarily to another division/section. It all depends on where they are stationed and what they are currently doing. The commanding officer are dissappointed in the women for not upholding the values of the military. Military - To protect and serve. Again it depends in which division/section they are stationed. If the commanding officer's reasoning is justified, then I agree with him/her. If not, well then let the law run it's course. Or are the public suppose to protect pregnant fairies in the military, or the police or metro police in times of a crises situation (if in active daily operations of field work)? There are 2 sides to this coin.

      Pap Snoek - 2014-10-10 08:12

      They are allready making a special concession just having women there. In my day, very few women would have passed this very physical training definitely not the fat ones that I see in uniform these days.

  • Anele.ngconde.sabani - 2013-02-07 11:13

    This thing its not about humiliating any women but its the professionalism of the RSA soldiers. Who can train a recruit with that stomach?

  • Pap Snoek - 2014-10-10 08:04

    As an ex-member of Infantry School, I have the highest praise for their OC in taking a stand. If women want to be soldiers, they must see it through. You can't be a mom and a soldier. Also this is a training base: the JL course runs for more than 7 months, you can't pull out as an instructor.

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