ATT: ALL NEWS EDITORS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: 03 OCTOBER 2016
SOUTH AFRICA REPRESENTED AT THE 8TH ICOAF IN AMSTERDAM
The Military Ombud Lt Gen (Ret) Temba Matanzima is representing South Africa at the 8th International Conference of Armed Forces (8ICOAF) in the Netherlands starting from 3-5 October 2016.
The conference theme for this year is the role of Ombudsman Institutions before, during and after international missions. The aim of the congress is to strengthen cooperation and share good practices among independent institutions in order to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms within and by the armed forces.
The advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994 indicated a shift from militancy to a humane-oriented dispensation. As such the retuning members are citizen in uniform and deserve utmost respect and validation of their human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa.
The Military Ombud was established in 2012 to investigate and ensure that complaints by South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members are resolved in a fair, economical and expeditious manner. The Office is entrusted with the responsibility of investigating complaints brought by members of the SANDF who are not satisfied with their conditions of service. The Office also investigate complaints brought by members of the public against SANDF personnel whilst on duty
The Ombud’s institutions power of oversight must ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans programmes that address returning personnel from international peace missions.
International missions have become increasingly common and expanded in time and scope. Today, thousands of personnel are currently serving in ongoing United Nations peacekeeping operations, along with numerous regional missions led by the African Union, the European Union, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
We recognise that international missions constitute an important contribution to international peace and security. Because of the international command structure, military personnel can be subject to different and sometimes contradictory procedures. Good cooperation between the Ombud’s institutions, monitoring the wellbeing of military personnel before, during and after missions, is therefore essential.
Gen Matanzima says his personnel’s have been busy on the road visiting various military bases throughout to inculcate the rights of the members as far as their conditions of service are concerned.
“Our task is massive in ensuring harmonious resolve of disputes between employer and employee within the defence community, the Office has processed more than a thousand complaints to date and has received cooperation from the department of defence in the implementations of the Ombud recommendations ” says Matanzima.
South Africa Military Ombud will host the 10th ICOAF in October 2018 in Pretoria.
Issued by the Military Ombud. For more information contact Enquiries: Ms Nthombikayise Mdluli Jacha Head of Communication on 062 504 7717/ 012 676 3812 Email: JachaQ@milombud.org