Union rubbishes defence ombud launch

2012-05-14 20:53

Pretoria - Installing a military ombudsman is an attempt to strangle soldiers' grievances in red tape, the SA National Defence Force Union (Sandu) said on Monday.

"Clearly, the ombud office is yet another attempt at negating unionism within the defence force, an attempt that is doomed to fail," said Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greef.

Former acting Chief of the SA National Defence Force Lieutenant General Themba Matanzima was sworn as military ombudsman in Pretoria on Monday.

The Military Ombud Act was passed by Parliament in March after it being tabled in June 2011.

Greef accused the department of defence of trying to avoid its labour legislation obligations.

This was an attempt to avoid soldiers, through unions, to seek redress in courts "as they have been doing successfully for the past few years with growing frequency", he said.

Greef said Matanzima would not be an independent decision-maker, as he was appointed to the post by President Jacob Zuma in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the SANDF.

"We reject outright the appointment of Matanzima as he has a proven track record of opposing, albeit always unsuccessfully, the exercising of labour rights by members of the SANDF," he said.

  • Jackie - 2012-05-14 21:04

    I am personally against the unionized defense force, just ensure they are getting paid well and their needs are satisfied. And please employ young guys and girls to serve in the military

      Jackie - 2012-05-14 21:33

      @tnmunyai maybe I know nothing but a unionized military is a big "NO" for me, soon they will be striking and what would that put our country's security

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