Delegation: Defence Minister M Lekota, Deputy Minister N Madlala-Routledge, Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Gen S Nyanda, Adm Bakkes (Acting Director of Integration), Officer Greywenstein (Integration Committee) and Mr Ratebe (Legal Advisor).
The Minister stated that he would be intensifying communication between the committee and the Ministry and that he would be available as far as possible on a fortnightly basis to attend meetings - he would be engaged in Cabinet meetings on the alternative weeks.
South African National Defence Force Update
Adm Bakkes proceeded with an overhead projector slide presentation of the update document that was handed out to the members. The document read as follows:
1. To update the Parliamentary Integration Oversight Committee (PIOC) on integration in order to enhance the discussion on the draft legislation proposing the termination of integration by 31 March 2001.
2. Total numbers on MK & APLA CPR’s : 44143
3. Members in SANDF : 15805 (MK 10734 & APLA 5071)
4. Demobilized : 9771
5. Losses : 5450
6. Not integrated or demobilized : 13117
7. Former SADF members in SANDF : 43486 (82705 in SADF in 1994)
8. Former TBVC members in SANDF : 5970
9. Former KZSPF :1608
STATUTORY FORCE INTEGRATION
10. The Verification Process has been completed. In the case of the SA Army the remainder of the notification letters are now being sent.
11. 9771 Non-statutory Force (NSF) members (including 677 dependants) have received grants in the total amount of R246.2 million.
TERMINATION OF INTEGRATION AND DEMOBILIZATION
· Integration has been ongoing since 1994
· Non Statutory Force members had to integrate within a reasonable time
· 6 years constitutes a reasonable time to bring integration to an end
· the process cannot end without allowing amnesty cases who were in prison to integrate
· applications for demobilization closed on 31 March 1999 and this date will have to be extended
· the original draft legislation proposed 31 March 2000 as the closing date for integration
· the date was amended to 31 March 2001 due to delays in submitting draft bills
· as a result of continuous attempts of informing former NSF members of their right to integrate a final mass intake was held in July 1998
· 45 members of the July 1998 intake could for valid reasons not report and were given the opportunity to integrate on individual basis during November 1999. 31 of these members were in fact so integrated
· the July 1998 and November 1999 intakes were intended to be final intakes
· the proposed legislation is intended to provide for amnesty cases and for other cases who for some exceptional or other valid reason had not yet integrated
INTEGRATION OF AMNESTY MEMBERS ON THE CERTIFIED PERSONNEL REGISTERS
12. In anticipation of the passing of the proposed legislation the DOD has published a DOD Instruction prescribing how these cases are to be dealt with during their integration process.
FINAL LISTS OF NSF MEMBERS ON CPR FOR INTER|GRATION
13. Final list from MK Personnel Office : 217
14. Final list from APLA Personnel Office : 45
15. Additional lists from APLA Personnel Office
a. APLA Prisoners not on CPR : 23
b. Prisoners not on Prisoners list or CPR : 11
c. Students from abroad not on CPR : 48
16. The above 262 members on the CPR’s can be considered for any proposed final intake.
17. Members who are not able to integrate will be demobilized should the draft legislation be passed.
FINANCIAL AND OTHER IMPLICATIONS
18. The cost of integrating 262 members at R69 991 per person is Rm 18,338 excluding the costs of logistics, uniforms, accommodation, food and training. These costs will have to be off set against the 2001/2002 recruiting budget which was intended to recruit 1600 Grade 12 school leavers into the SANDF and their numbers will have to be reduced according to the number of NSF members who integrate.
19. The profile of the NSF members to be integrated will not necessarily meet the current requirements of the SANDF.
LACK OF CAPACITY OF THE SA ARMY
20. The SA Army does not have the capacity, budget or the resources to handle mass intakes of NSF members or to provide bridging and other training for large numbers of integratees. It had only planned to deal with a final intake of approximately 200 NSF members during 2001, being the figures supplied by the NSF Personnel Offices at the request of the Integration Committee during 2000 for a final intake.
21. The DOD is convinced that there are compelling reasons why the integration process should be terminated by 31 March 2001 or such further date as may be determined which will still allow an estimated 262 nsf members to be considered as part of a final intake. The draft legislation is also intended to make provision for persons who have been granted amnesty and whose names appear on the CPR’s to integrate or demobilize after 31 March 2001 or the extended date within 90 days of being granted amnesty.
Mr Mashimbye (ANC) asked whether it would be advisable to go to the ANC and APLA offices and ask what had happened to those people who have not integrated or demobilised and whether the Department of Defence (DOD) was satisfied that the 262 names on the Certified Personnel Register (CPR) were the final number.
Gen Nyanda replied that the Bills needed to be passed as a reasonable period of time had elapsed since 1994 when the process had started and that despite numerous appeals advertised in the mass media, very few of the those eligible to be integrated or demobilised have come forward. The figure of 262 was derived from the names that appeared on the CPR. It was noted that a cut-off period would not prejudice those who were in jail or applying for amnesty, as they would be handled as individual cases and not mass intakes.
In reply to Mr Bloem (ANC) asking if the eligible APLA members in jail were incarcerated for criminal or political offences, Mr Ratebe said they jailed for political offences.
Gen Viljoen (FF) said that it was not acceptable to exclude 1600 school leavers due to the integration process as the SANDF needed young recruits. The 262 CPRs should not be taken in at a senior level as they still had to be trained.
Mr Ngculu (ANC) inquired about problems relating to the CPR list including fraud. He felt that the figures were mechanically calculated and that a scientific methodology would serve better to determine the figures. He proposed that the figures in the report could be inaccurate due to deaths or incapacitation and thus verification became a critical issue.
Gen Nyanda replied that an ongoing investigation into fraud was currently taking place with the co-operation of the South African Police Services (SAPS).
The Minister announced that he would have to leave the meeting but urged the committee to keep in mind that this was the second year running that they were grappling with this particular issue and that the costs of any full-scale investigation into fraud would be prohibitively expensive. Fraudulent cases that were being picked up through the integration process were being investigated. By holding up the process, the National Budget was being eaten up by keeping open the offices dealing with the integration process. The SANDF needed to transform and develop new skills for peace-keeping in
Mr Smit (NNP) asked if the Committee would be getting a report from the British Military Advisory and Training Team (BMAT). The Chairperson answered that the rules of Parliament allowed them to call anyone to report and that the committee was sometimes wrongfully reluctant to exercise this right.
Mr Ratebe stated as a point of clarification that the Demobilisation process had a cut off date set at 31 March but that the Integration process had been left open though was to be conducted within a reasonable period of time. He said that the situation would have to be amended to allow the two processes to run parallel otherwise a person on the CPR could appear after 20 years and expect to be integrated.
General Nyanda noted that demobilised individuals had signed a contract and would not be allowed to come back and claim a right to integration at a later stage.
Mr Bloem urged that BMAT should come and report to the committee. The Chairperson added that BMAT was accountable to the Committee to a point and that they should find out what the limits to their accountability were.
Mr Ratebe proceeded to talk the committee through the clauses of the three Bills quickly without interjection from the members.
Mr Smit (NNP) urged the Committee to set a proposed date rather than leave it open-ended.
The Chairperson stated that the constitutional amendment would first have to be discussed with the Justice Portfolio Committee.
Adv Madasa (ACDP) asked whether it was necessary to amend the Constitution at all. Mr Ratebe replied that it was necessary to amend the Constitution to avoid uncertainty and this had been decided in consultation with the state law advisors.
Gen Viljoen (FF) stated that Defence was an important committee and therefore the Bills should be made to go through Parliament quickly despite a tight schedule. The Chairperson said that she was not prepared to allow these Bills to be rushed through Parliament without the prescribed consultation with the Justice Portfolio Committee.
The Chairperson adjourned the meeting and thanked the guests for their input and presence.
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