The plundering of the assets of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), including weapons and ammunition with almost no successful prosecution, is shocking and is indicative of a collapse of the management structure of the SANDF, says Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.
In the response to a written parliamentary question that Dr Groenewald directed at the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, it came to light that in 2016 there were a total of 417 incidences of robbery (272) and burglary (145) at the respective military bases. (Please see question and answer below).
Thus far, only fourteen of the cases were successfully prosecuted, of these three were cases of burglary and eleven were cases of theft. Not even one person has been successfully prosecuted for the theft of weapons.
A wide variety of items were stolen, but what is especially worrying is the great incidence of the theft of weapons and ammunition during this time. A follow-up question regarding the quantity and types of weapons that were stolen will be submitted to the Minister.
The theft of computer equipment is also prevalent, but the thieves literally plunder everything that they can get their hands on; from food, batteries, petrol, alcohol, cash, bicycles, gardening tools to camping equipment, clothes, car parts, uniforms and even documents.
According to Dr Groenewald, these figures clearly indicate that the SANDF management is failing. He says that it is a direct consequence of Affirmative Action (AA), which lead to poor training and a lack of discipline.
“What is ironic is that computer equipment, weapons and cash were stolen from the military police, while they are the ones that are supposed to protect the SANDF’s property.
“If the SANDF is not even able to protect its own military bases against theft and plundering, one can rightly question whether it will be able to protect the country and its inhabitants against possible threats,” says Dr Groenewald.