by MTHULISI SIBANDA
PRETORIA – THE South African Military Ombud, Lt Gen (Ret) Themba Matanzima, has urged directorates and services within the local National Defence Force (SANDF) to be just, fair and transparent in exercising power over members.
His sentiments come ahead of the Annual Military Ombud Symposium to mark its sixth anniversary, set for the capital Pretoria on Wednesday.
Celebrated under the theme, “Enhancing the role of the military ombud in keeping the armed forces accountable,” the event is a gathering of policy-makers, defence specialists and academics where they engage on empowering thoughts that may enhance the operations of the Military Ombud.
“Administrative oversight consists of procedural fairness and listening to both parties,” Matanzima said in a message to directorates and services within the SANDF.
“In essence, in the spirit of Batho Pele (People First) Principles we can salvage maladministration and restore administrative justice.”
Speaking before the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans earlier this month, Matanzima said that in the financial year 2017/18, the Office dealt with 799 cases of which 664 were finalised.
About 60 percent of the cases received were mostly about issues of promotion, demotion and career intervention.
“We are committed to promote a culture of good governance within the SANDF by ensuring that considerable progress is made regarding our investigation mechanisms and recommendations geared towards equal access to conditions of service,” Matanzima said.
The Office of the Military Ombud was established in 2012 to investigate and ensure that complaints against the SANDF.
Judge Bernard Ngoepe will deliver the keynote address at the event in Pretoria.
– CAJ News