Army bases allegedly asked to pay R25k toward R900 000 caravan gift for commanding officer

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SANDF members patrol the streets.
SANDF members patrol the streets.
Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images
  • The SANDF is investigating a case where army support bases were allegedly each asked to contribute R25 000 towards a R900 000 gift for the unit's commanding officer.
  • Major-General Mzikayise Joseph Tyhalisi received a R900 000 caravan for his birthday.
  • Details of the investigation were revealed in a Parliamentary reply from Defence Minister Thandi Modise.

Military bosses are investigating a request made for army support bases to allegedly each contribute R25 000 of their funds to buy a R900 000 caravan as a birthday gift for the unit's general commanding officer, Major-General Mzikayise Joseph Tyhalisi.

According to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise, the probe is still underway after allegations were made last year.

Modise was responding to a written Parliamentary question from DA MP Kobus Marais, who wanted details on the investigation into the matter.

Marais also asked… "whether any investigation has been conducted into the specified alleged spending intended for the daily rations of men and women in uniform, part of which apparently was appropriated from the defence budget at R128 per day for each person; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details."

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Regarding the investigation involving Tyhalisi, Modise said the matter is currently with the Inspector General of the department to start with a forensic investigation.

"In one of the investigations instituted in August 2022, which is still in progress, witnesses provided sworn statements stating that there was a requirement for contributions to buy a present for the member in question.

"At the conclusion of the investigation, which was [preliminary] to establish the facts, it was decided that a forensic investigation must further be conducted to establish any wrongdoing based on the nature of the allegations, that is, fraud and/or corruption at Army Support Base Garrison on non-public funds," Modise said.

She also said investigations are still underway in respect of the other matters Marais raised.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has also been under fire recently after the bodies of alleged rebels in Mozambique were burnt, and images of which were shared on social media.

According to City Press, a team from the SANDF left for Pemba in Mozambique on Friday to investigate the incident.

The video, showing soldiers throwing bodies on to a burning pile of rubbish, was shared last week. Two unidentified soldiers were shown throwing another body on to the fire, while an SANDF member was seen briefly on the screen.

The video, believed to have been recorded by a soldier attached to the Southern African Development Community mission in Mozambique, made headlines last week. Two soldiers can be seen hurling a corpse on to a pile where several other bodies, equipment, pots and pans lay.

More than 4 000 people have been killed and 800 000 displaced due to the insurgency that started in 2017.  

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