SANDF chief to probe complaints against troops

SANDF chief to probe complaints against troops

Defence Minister Nospiwe Mapisa-Nqakula has instructed the chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to investigate complaints against troops, says the military ombudsman.


Lt.Gen retired Vusi Masondo says he received a complaint from Democratic Alliance (DA) requesting him to investigate allegations of defence force members assaulting people who do not comply with lockdown regulations.


This comes after videos circulating on social media of troops forcing civilians - who are allegedly not abiding by the regulations - to do squats and push-ups.


There are also videos of the SANDF allegedly physically assaulting people who are roaming the streets.


"I think it's important for you to know that already the minister has instructed the chief of the national defence force to look into this complaint and where culprits are identified to take appropriate disciplinary action," Masondo says.

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He adds that defence chief has been given 20 days to deal with the matter.


Masondo, however, admits that an investigation of this nature will be hard to prove.


"We normally give him 20 days to respond but in cases like this - in some instances, the facts are not very clear.


"If it was complaining saying ‘private so-and-so’ it would be easier to trace the incident and be able to prove responsibility but from the videos. It's difficult to say who's actually doing this and if there's a complaint from a member of the public who spot the name of the perpetrator and therefore lodge a complaint it is difficult to put a timeline."

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