The Office of the Military Ombud was established to investigate and ensure that complaints against the SANDF are resolved in a fair, economical and expeditious manner. The Military Ombud Act No 4 of 2012 mandates the Office of the Military Ombud to investigate complaints lodged in writing against the SANDF from current and former members of the Defence Force, regarding their conditions of service, as well as members of the public regarding the official conduct of a member of the Defence Force. Serving members should first try and resolve their dissatisfaction with the SANDF through the Individual Grievance process as prescribed in the Individual Grievances Regulations, 2010.
A complaint is a written statement expressing discontent or unhappiness by a member or a former member about his or her conditions of service and members of the public about the official conduct of a member of the Defence Force.
- A member or a former member of the SANDF regarding his or her conditions of Service.
- A member of the Public regarding the official conduct of a member of the SANDF.
- Recruitment procedures, advertising and selection criteria
- Appointment and appointment processes
- Job classification and grading
- Salaries, allowances and service benefits
- Job assignments
- Working environment and working facilities
- Education, training and development
- Performance evaluation systems
- Promotion, transfers and demotion
- Disciplinary measures other than dismissals
- Grievance and grievance procedures
- Termination of service
- Scarce skills
- Pay progression
- Deployment benefits
The complaint must be lodged in writing usingthe prescribed form. The completed complaint form can be submitted via post, fax, e-mail, or by personal delivery.
In formulating a complaint one should be as comprehensive as possible.Answer the questions: “Who, What, When, Where, and What happened thereafter”.The complainant should provide the Military Ombud with as much evidence as he or she can in support of the complaint. Evidence may include, depending on the complaint, copies of photographs, documentation, sworn statements of witnesses, copies of official documents given to the complainant by the Department of Defence and any other relevant information that may assist the Military Ombud in conducting an Investigation.
A case reference number is allocated and will be communicated to the complainant. The complainant will be advised whether the Military Ombud has jurisdiction on the matter or not.
The case reference number is used in all future communication. The Military Ombud will investigate the matter and will either uphold or dismiss the complaint. If the complaint is upheld the Military Ombud will make recommendations to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans on how to resolve the complaint, which recommendations the Minister
may accept or reject.
If the Military Ombud is not able to investigate the complaint the Office will do its best to advise the complainant of another institution that could assist in resolving the complaint.
The Military Ombud in terms of law may not investigate the following:
• The manner in which a Military Judge performs his or her functions in his or her capacity as a Judge.
• A matter that is pending before a Military or Civilian Court.
• A matter on which a decision has been taken by a Military or Civilian Court.
The Military Ombud may decline to investigate a complaint if:
• The investigation may undermine the channels of command, or constitute insubordination in the Defence Force.
• The complaint is frivolous or vexatious.
• The complainant has failed to lodge a complaint within a reasonable time as prescribed.
• A member has not first used the mechanisms available under the Individual Grievances Regulations, 2010 unless the complaint relates to problems inherent in the system which bring about an adverse result to the complainant.