A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
DEFENCE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE
13 June 2001
INTEGRATION REPORT: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Mr JN Mashimbye
Documents handed out:
Integration Progress Report – June 2001 (see Appendix 1)
BMATT Report - February 2001 (see Appendix 2)
The presentation by General Masondo and Admiral Bakkes indicated that despite its finalisation, the integration process still has problems. Problems include the fraudulent enlistment of people in the CPR list and the revival of the reserve force. The meeting focused on these issues. General Masondo admitted that the NSF and SANDF had to learn by mistakes because neither were experienced in integrating different forces, let alone former enemies.
The Chairperson explained that usually the Parliamentary Integration Oversight Committee (PIOC) does not consist of all members of the joint standing committee nor the portfolio committee. However, he had decided that the report should be presented before all members of both Committees so that all members could discuss its contents at once.
The Chairperson said that the Committee must produce a Bill terminating the integration process before the end of the year. He announced General Masondo’s retirement in three months time and indicated that this could be his second last meeting with the committee.
The Integration Process : Background
General Masondo made a presentation to the Committee. The report of British Military Advisory Training Team (BMATT) is included in the Integration Report. General Masondo said he had included this report to get a balanced view of the integration process. He has been part of the integration process since 1994 and is possibly the last Chairperson of the Integration Committee. Initially, the integration process was intended to take six months but it has taken seven years.
He listed difficulties experienced in attempts to integrate the NSF and SANDF. Difficulties include mutual suspicion and the fact that the two forces were previously opposing forces. The SANDF is being used as a basis for integration. This has left the NSF feeling as though is has been "swallowed" by the SANDF. However, he emphasized that both forces are in the process of being integrated. General Masonda feels that they (Integration Committee) have created a professional defence force.
The Integration Process : Current Status
Rear-Admiral LM Bakkes (Acting Director of Integration) explained that the original report is still with the Minister and it will be available to the committee as soon as possible.
Presently the total number of the force is 78 701. This number includes young recruits who joined the defence force since 1994. These young recruits are supposed to form the core of the defence force. Some of them have been sent to universities and technikons to advance their studies.
According to the Defence Force Review Guideline there are supposed to be 70 000 forces. This number will be reduced through rationalisation. In addition to this number, there are also 12 872 (29,16%) members who have neither been integrated nor demobilised but their names are on the Certified Personnel Register (CPR) list. General Masondo indicated that he has been going around trying to ask both ANC and PAC to identify these people. He said the response rate to this request has been very small.
The Ranking system
Again the problem of ranking was highlighted. General Masondo argued that the gap between Lieutenant and Captain as a very serious one. Most of the NSF members are not given proper ranks because their military background is undermined. After a full discussion the Plenary Defence Staff Council decided that an audit of ranking should be carried out.
General Masondo explained that some people are enlisted fraudulently. Some senior officers enlisted people who were not members of any military establishment. They used their senior positions to fraudulently put these people on the list with names that were non-existent, some of the names were presented as pseudonyms/combat names (nom de guerre).
These pseudonyms created a lot of problems. Others integrated with real people’s names and when the real people came to register, they could not integrate because someone else has already integrated under that name.
People not on the CPR
General Masondo said there are people who claim to be members of MK and APLA who did not integrate and are not in CPR but want to be part of the last intake. So far the Defence Force cannot accept these people because the legislation states that a person’s name should be in the CPR list before he/she can be allowed to integrate.
However, Admiral Bakkes said the legislation has made provision for amnesty cases and other exceptions. He insisted that September 2001 be the cut off date so that the department could progress.
Reserve and Part Time Forces
The reserve force has been identified as one of the forces that should be retained but reformed. General Masondo said that as long as no black people enlist in the reserve force, certain perceptions would continue. He insisted that the reserve force should be representative of the different people in this country and that blacks should be encouraged to join the reserve force.
Admiral Bakkes said that the intention is to integrate APLA and MK into the reserve force. They would like the regular and reserve force to form one force at a later stage. They are currently planning a final date for the integration of the reserve and part time forces.
(For more details please refer to attached document.)
Visit by Committee to Kirkwood and Grahamstown
The Chairperson and eight members of the committee visited the territorial reserve forces in Kirkwood and Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. In Grahamstown they received a briefing from the commander of the territorial force and this was satisfactory. However, the Kirkwood briefing was concerning. The territorial forces appeared undisciplined. The Chairperson explained that the Colonel who was in command of the force told the Generals (who were part of their delegation) that he had no time for them. He said they should return to their comfortable offices in Pretoria and remain there. Mr Mashimbye said this was particularly concerning because the Colonel said this in front of his subordinates. The officer was reprimanded by Mr Mashimbye and he apologised, but the damage was done.
Mr Mashimbye (ANC) asked General Masondo what is being done to transform the reserve forces, especially in terms of representivity. Further, he said that he had applied to the reserve forces 19 months ago and had not received any reply. He pointed out that if he must wait 19 months for a response, the ordinary person must have the same if not greater difficulty.
Admiral Bakkes said some prominent members have joined the reserve force such as former Gauteng Premier Tokyo Sexwale, who has been given the honorary rank of Colonel. But he pointed out that these members could not be given responsibilities because of other important commitments. For Members of Parliament it is a different because there is no legislation that makes provision for MP’s to join the reserves. He said Parliament must develop legislation so that MP’s can join the reserves. He indicated that for MPs it would be a different arrangement altogether.
Mr Ngculu (ANC) said that in his area some people were hardened criminals and had integrated but were never members of any liberation movement .
General Masondo replied that initially pseudonyms were used to integrate people from the NSF because these people were using these names in operations and in exile. But later they encountered some problems because people used the names of others whom later wanted to integrate. So those criminals might have used pseudonyms.
Mr Ngculu wanted to know the status of foreign members in the defence force who were in Battalion 22 of the former SANDF.
General Masondo replied that they were told some of the people were naturalised citizens of South Africa. Despite finding irregularities with their identification documents, these people were allowed to integrate in the defence force because they had certificates of naturalisation. General Masondo told the committee that there is a commission dealing with cases of fraudulent documents and if anyone is found guilty s/he will be fired.
Admiral Bakkes added that the Department is liaising with Home Affairs on the issue. A report should be ready within the month and this will be forwarded to the Committee once available.
Dr S Mogoba (PAC) stressed that cases of fraud should not occur within the army because it is once of the important instruments of the state. He pointed out that members of the army who impersonated others display extreme ill discipline.
General Masondo said his main concern is that senior people are responsible for the fraud. He suggested that some people make money from this fraudulent exercise.
Ms Kota (ANC) asked when the lists will be verified and finalised.
General Masondo said the airforce, navy and medical services (SAHMS) had completed their processes. He said once each unit is verified each person will be listed as a member of SANDF.
Admiral Bakkes added that the Minister has instructed the Department to develop a project which will translate the numbers. Further, the programme for the reserves will be implemented.
Dr Mogoba indicated that AZANLA, the military wing of AZAPO, has appealed for its members to be allowed to integrate as well.
General Masondo said he told a spokesperson from AZANLA that this is a political issue because they have not been part of the integration process. In effect, SANDF cannot deal with this issue. Parliament must make the decision in respect of AZANLA and SANDF will carry the decision forward.
Another member asked how the CPR was formulated.
General Masondo replied that neither the SANDF, MK nor APLA had experience in this integration. These groups had used the existing list and inserted names into the register.
Ms Kota asked how the Department will make it easier to enlist in the reserve forces.
General Masondo reiterated the statement made by Admiral Bakkes that former APLA and MK (who are not in the SANDF) should be encouraged to join the reserve force. He said there would be a programme to recruit more people into the reserve force. This programme will focus on recruiting people from the designated groups.
Mr Theron (DP) asked whether the final date of integration would be extended. He remarked on the apparent lack of discipline with regard to the extension of time frames in the defence force. Further, he asked whether there is legislation aimed at finalising integration process.
General Masondo replied that all decisions are taken in Parliament. He emphasised that as military personnel, their task is to perform the directives from politicians.
Mr Maphoto (ANC) argued that naturalisation cannot be considered as a basis for admitting people into the defence force because these people are not really South Africans. He asked how the defence force could accept mercenaries because, he argued, these people were killing South Africans during the liberation struggle.
General Masondo replied that the law states if a person is a citizen of this country, s/he can integrate.
Mr Mashimbye interjected and said that decisions were taken at Kempton Park and a number of compromises were reached by all parties involved. Compromises included decisions around Battalion 22 and others. The committee could not change these decisions now.
Mr Ntuli (ANC) wanted to know how many people were are outside the army who had previously been members of armed forces.
General Masondo replied that many people who were supposed to be in the army have not been integrated. However, he added that if a law ending integration is passed, it will be impossible for these people to be integrated.
Mr Ngculu asked when the issue of contract and permanent people will be resolved. He said some people want to be permanent members of the defence force.
General Masondo replied that there were contracts in the SANDF because young people enlisted and then left to pursue other career paths. Initially these young people had contracts of two to five years, with some medium and long term contracts. The renewal of these contracts depended on work performance, discipline and other factors. Some of these recruits have been taken on permanently because they are now believed to be fully-fledged soldiers.
Mr Mogale (ANC) asked whether matric is still a requirement to enter the army.
General Masondo resplied that matric is not a requirement because most people from NSF went into exile with little or no education. These people had "potential tests" and were evaluated on this basis. If a person scored six and above for the test, s/he would be allowed to integrate. If s/he scored three or below s/he was not allowed to integrate.
Mr Ngculu asked why so few NSF soldiers join the navy and the airforce. He suggested that the department look at this imbalance.
General Masondo said most guerilla armies were more comfortable in the navy or airforce because most of their training was in the infantry. Both the airforce and navy had tried to recruit members at the integration points. He said they even took two Generals from the NSF to perform human resource related duties in the navy.
Mr Mashimbye asked why the BMATT report said that there is a lot of racism in the SANDF, especially at implementation level. Soldiers are still treated on the basis of colour - black or white. He asked whether the army should still use these categories.
General Masondo re-iterated that integration has been successful despite all its problems. He said some issues are blown out of proportion and that people make racist judgements where they are not supposed to. He acknowledged that racism does persist in the army but he insisted that people should not jump to conclusions without considering surrounding factors.
Admiral Bakkes agreed that BMATT may have been dealing with exceptions. He said that the army is dealing with issues of racism like each other Department is. The Department has introduced a new code of conduct and every member must comply with the code. He promised that racism would be a thing of the past.
In conclusion the Chairperson suggested that the report be distributed to political parties for recommendations and the committee will take the matter further. He said the report should not be adopted at the meeting. A full report on integration will be tabled by PIOC in the National Assembly.
Finally, the Chairperson said that he and members of the Committee are going to Germany to learn from that country’s integration experience. He added that General Masondo may be called to Parliament before he retires to iron out some issues.
The meeting was adjourned.
Chief of the National Defence Force
Policy & Planning Division
Enquiries: Lt Gen A.M.L. Masondo
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE
INTEGRATION PROGRESS REPORT TO THE PARLIAMENTARY INTEGRATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (PIOC) 2001
Appendix A: Graphic Representation of Facts contained in this Report.
B: BMATT Report to MOD
1. The aim of this report is to inform the members of PIOC of the background to and current position with regard to the integration of personnel in the SANDF.
2. The following issues are addressed in this report:
- Background regarding the composition of the SANDF in terms of the Constitution, the SANDF Integration Committee (IC) and the British Military Advisory and Training Team in South Africa (BMATT)
Statutory Force integration.
- Termination of Non –Statutory Force Integration
- Certified Personnel Registers (CPRs)
- Integration of members granted amnesty.
- Members not on CPRs and Fraudulent Enlistment.
- Lack of capacity of SA Army and financial and other implications
- Audit of ranking
- Bridging Training
COMPOSITION OF THE SANDF
3. Integration was the process of combining seven military forces into one South African National Defence Force (SANDF)
4. In terms of Section 224 and 236 of the Interim Constitution, 1993, the SANDF at its establishment consisted of
- all members of the South African Defence Force (SADF);
- all members of any defence force forming part of a national territory i.e. former Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei defence forces (TBVC); and
- members of a defence force or armed force of a political organisation under whose authority and controls it stands. Initially only Mkhonto we Siswe (MK) was included and later also the Azanian People Liberation Army (APLA).
- In accordance with a constitutional accommodation 2000 members of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Self Protection Force (KZSPF) became eligible for incorporation in the SANDF. KZSFP members were therefore taken into service in accordance with normal employment policies and regulations, as approved by Cabinet at the time.
- Annexure 1 contains a comparison of the Department of Defence Personnel strength per Former Force for 1994, 1996 and 2001 measured against the 1998 Defence Review Guidelines whilst Annexure 2 contains a comparison of race distribution in the DoD for the years 1994, 1996, and 2001.
SANDF INTEGRATION COMMITEE
7. Established in September 1994 the SANDF Integration Committee has played a major role in the Integration process. After more than seven years of integration the outstanding issues are now well addressed and can in future be catered for within the normal SANDF structures. The last IC meeting in its current format will take place in September 2001. The current Chairperson of the IC, Lt Gen A.M. L Masondo, will be retiring in October 2001 from the SANDF. It is not intended that he be replaced. Consideration is however being given to the establishment of a smaller monitoring forum to deal with matters that may arise during the final proposed intakes of former NSF members whose names appear on the CPRs.
BRITISH MILITARY ADVISORY AND TRAINING TEAM: SOUTH AFRICA
8. On 8 April 1994, the South African Transitional Executive Council issued a formal invitation to the Government of the United Kingdom Government to assist in the process of integration in the SANDF. BMATT (SA) become operational on 13 June 1994.
9. The main tasks of BMATT (SA) are threefold as agreed to by the two Governments in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU):
- The validation of criteria and standards for the SANDF.
- Monitoring assessment, selection and training across all four services of the SANDF, i.e. SA Army, SA Air Force, SA Navy and SA Military Health Service.
- To adjudicate if disputes arise between parties involved in the integration process.
10. BMATT (SA) is commanded by a Brigadier. He is responsible to the UK Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Committee) and ultimately to the UK Chief of Defence Staff. In South Africa he is responsible to the Minister of Defence. Commander BMATT (SA) regularly briefs the Minister of Defence, Secretary for Defence, C SANDF and the Service Chiefs on integration issues. Appendix B is the final report of the outgoing Commander BMATT, Brig J.J. Keeling. The new incumbent is Brig S.G. Hughes.
11. BMATT (SA) personnel operate in South Africa under the terms agreed to by the two Governments in a joint MOU.
STATUTORY FORCE INTEGRATION.
12. The integration process of the statutory force members in all the services has been completed, except one administrative matter that is currently being dealt with. This relates to the South African ID documents held by foreign-born members whose citizenship is being verified by the Department of Home Affairs.
NON STATUTORY FORCE INTEGRATION
13. The Termination of Integration Intake Bill together with a Constitutional amendment and an amendment of the Demobilisation Act have been tabled for deliberation by Parliament in 2001.
14. The intention of this proposed legislation is to formally and legally bring the integration process to an end.
15. Subject to the promulgation of the draft legislation a final intake of former non statutory force members will be undertaken prior to September 2001 should this still be the final end date.
termination of integration and demobilization
16. The background regarding the proposed legislation is summarized as follows:
a. Integration has been ongoing since 1994.
b. NSF members had to integrate within a reasonable time, in terms of the Interim Constitution (Act 200 of 1993).
c. Seven years constitutes more than a reasonable time to bring integration to an end.
d. The process cannot deny amnesty cases who were in prison to integrate on being granted amnesty.
e. In terms of the Demobilisation Act (Act 99 of 1996), applications for demobilisation closed on 31 March 1999 and this date will have to be extended to coincide with the end of integration date as proposed in the draft legislation to make provision for possible cases who cannot or do not wish to enter into an agreement to serve in the SANDF.
f. Adequate communication attempts were made to inform former NSF members of their right to integrate in a final mass intake held in July 1998.
g. Forty five 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. Thirty one of these members were in fact so integrated. The remaining fourteen did not report for integration.
h. The July 1998 and November 1999 intakes were intended to be the final intakes.
i. The proposed legislation is intended to provide for amnesty cases and for other cases who for some exceptional or other valid reason have not as yet integrated.
PROVISIONAL LISTS OF NSF MEMBERS ON CPR FOR INTEGRATION
- The MK Personnel Office has furnished a provisional list of 217 names and the APLA Personnel Office a list of 142 names of members on the CPRs who can be considered for any proposed final intake. The final numbers of members will only be determined once the lists have been finalised and the names have been verified.
18. In terms of Section 224 (2) (c) read with 236 8 (d) of the 1993 Constitution, all members of MK and APLA whose names appear on a CPR, were eligible to enter into an agreement to serve (Integrate) in the SANDF if they met the laid down criteria.
19. Those members who are unable or unwilling to serve in the SANDF were dealt with in terms of the Demobilisation Act 1996. A member could either choose to integrate by entering into an agreement with the SANDF or apply to be demobilised. Members who demobilised were paid demobilsation grants.
20. Only members called up for the last integration intake and who qualify may still demobilise subject to the appropriate amended legislation being passed by Parliament.
21. - To date a total of 9 771 demobilisation gratuities were paid out, including 677 gratuities paid to dependants of deceased former NSF members. The total amount paid to date iro demobilisation grants amounts to RM246,2.
CERTIFIED PERSONNEL REGISTERS (CPRS)
22. The submission of CPRs of the non statutory forces ie MK and APLA, were provided for by the Transitional Executive Council Act (Act 151 of 1993) and the Interim Constitution (Act 200 of 1993).
23. These lists (hereinafter collectively called CPRs, although technically the APLA list was termed a Namelist) were to be compiled before 27 April 1994. CPRs submitted before 27 April 1994 were allowed to be updated on a monthly basis. The cut-off-date was extended for MK and APLA to 8 May 1996 and subsequently to 23 August 1996 and 11 October 1996 respectively to enable them to bring their CPRs up to date.
24. During the subsequent two years between 1994 and 1996 MK and APLA brought their CPRs up to date by adding a total of 8 219 names; MK adding 4 355 and APLA added 3 864. By implication the provisions of Schedule 6 of the Constitution (Act 108 of 1998) prohibited any further names being added to the NSF CPRs after 11 October 1996.
25. Therefore only bona fide members of MK and APLA appearing on the CPRs may be considered for integration into the SANDF. The proposed amendment to the existing legalisation in fact is intended to end integration after seven years during which eighteen intakes of NSF members took place.
26. Annexure 3 depicts the status of NSF members as at 15 May 2001 wrt integration, demobilisation and losses compared with the CPRs as follow:
Total numbers on MK & APLA CPRs 44 143
Members integrated in the SANDF 15 641 (MK 10 619 &
APLA 5 022)
Members who demobilised 9 771
Losses, i.e. retired, resigned, discharged or deceased 5 859
Not reported to be integrated or demobilised 12 872
Former SADF members in SANDF 43 036 (82 705 in SADF in 1994)
Former TBVC members in SANDF 5 931
Former KZSPF members in SANDF 1 599
INTEGRATION OF FORMER NSF MEMBERS GRANTED AMNESTY WHOSE NAMES APPEAR ON THE NSF CPRS
27. The Amnesty Committee of the TRC has already granted amnesty to a number of former NSF members still in prison for politically related offences which they committed. An unknown number of applications are in the process of being heard by the Amnesty Committee.
28. Since this category of former NSF members do not form part of a scheduled intake, additional measures to ensure control over the process have been instituted to afford these former NSF members the opportunity to be considered for integration into the SANDF. Even after the date of 30 September 2001, proposed for the end of integration, amnesty case members who apply and conform to all laid down criteria will still be considered for integration, provided they apply for integration within 90 days of being granted amnesty.
29. - Amnesty cases whose names do not appear on the NSF CPRs cannot be considered for integration.
MEMBERS NOT ON THE CPRS
31. In terms of the Constitution no member whose name does not appear on a CPR can be integrated into the SANDF. The fact that a member’s name is not on the CPR is a matter between that person and his/her former force and not one to is be resolved by the SANDF.
32. Consideration could be given by the SANDF to bona fide NSF members whose names are not on the CPRs to be given the opportunity to be recruited into the SANDF via the normal recruiting channels without certain integration privileges, subject to the SANDF having adequate financial capacity and to the persons meeting the requirements of age, qualifications and medical fitness and that suitable posts are available. Their previous NSF service and experience will be taken into account in determining their ranks on appointment as is the case with normal recruiting practice.
33. In the event of such former NSF members being successfully recruited into the SANDF the matter of their previous NSF service to be recognised for pension and leave credit purposes could thenbe pursued.
34. The legal position is that a bona fide NSF member, whose name on the CPR was fraudulently used by another person, and who wishes to now integrate, is to criminally prosecute the perpetrator and remove him/her from the SANDF because according to the State Law Adviser only one person can be accommodated in the SANDF against a name appearing on the CPR. Some 5 such reported cases are currently being investigated by the SANDF.
35. The relevant SA National Defence Force instruction now provides that should it be discovered that a potential integratee’s name was used by someone before, either to integrate or demobilise, the matter is reported to the Director of Personnel Acquisition, who is involved in the integration and who, in conjunction with Chief Military Legal Services, will determine the course of action to be taken. Each case will be handled individually, based on its merits. In appropriate instances the matters are being dealt with by the State organs which deal with fraud cases.
LACK OF CAPACITY OF THE SA ARMY
36. 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. The SA Army has, however, budgeted to deal with a final intake of approximately 300 NSF members during 2001. Although the SA Army will provide the facilities to handle the final intake the other three Services will also be required to absorb their quotas of integratees.
FINANCIAL AND OTHER IMPLICATIONS
37. By way of example the cost of integrating 300 members at R69 991 per person is RM20,999 excluding the costs of logistics, uniforms, accommodation, food and training. These costs will have to be offset against the 2001/2002 recruiting budget which was intended to recruit 1 600 Grade 12 school leavers into the SANDF and their numbers will have to reduced according to the number of NSF members who integrate.
AUDIT OF RANKING
38. - The SANDF Integration Committee received several requests from former members of the NSF of the so called Wallmannsthal 1, Hoedspruit and De Brug 1 intakes for their ranks to be reviewed.
39. The matter was reported to the Plenary Defence Staff Council which, after a full discussion, decided that a review of ranks should not be carried out in the first instance. It was, however, decided by the Council that an audit of ranking should be carried out.
40. The main aim of the audit is to determine whether, taking all the relevant factors into account and based on the principle of proof that clear prejudice was suffered, a re-ranking may be indicated in respect of specific members.
41. The members involved will be informed of the final results of the audit in due course.
42. Bridging Training in the SANDF is about 85% complete which has resulted in the promotion of former NSF members.
43. It is expected that the members in the SA Army who still require basic bridging training will be reduced to twenty, seven years after integration started, whilst 1 028 former NSF members still need to complete their Corps Bridging Training. The Army Formations have all formulated action plans to reduce the current backlog. In addition 223 members still have to complete Career Development Bridging Training.
44. - There are currently 714 serving SA Air Force uniformed former NSF members of whom 266 are at present under Bridging and Development Training. The task is therefore 63% complete.
45. - The final Bridging Training requirement in the SA Navy will be determined as soon as the placement of individual members has been confirmed. The Chief of the Navy has introduced new processes to expedite Integration and Bridging Training in the SA Navy. Some 88 former NSF members still require to complete their Bridging Training and 168 have to undergo Career Development Training.
46. The relevant Officers Commanding in SA Military Health Service have shown commitment to complete the Bridging Training process and only 450 former NSF members still have to complete their Basic, Development and Functional Bridging courses. Only 8,4 % of Bridging Courses are still outstanding.
47. The Chief of the SA National Defence Force, in conjunction with BMATT, continues to monitor the situation to ensure that all the outstanding bridging training is completed as expeditiously as possible.
48. Annexure 4 shows former force distribution per rank as on 15 May 2001.
49. A full series of medals has been instituted for former NSF Service. The series include awards for deeds of bravery, merit and long service. The revision of qualifying service for long service awards has resulted in 4 668 members of the SANDF who had rendered former NSF service, being decorated. A further 17 members have been awarded campaign medals.
50. Integrating seven different former forces, each with their own culture, traditions and military histories into the SANDF admitting to a common culture and identity, was a very complex process. Adding budget cuts, re-structuring and rationalisation into the same time frame, the integration process remains one of the biggest armed force success stories in recent times. The SANDF is proud of what has been achieved and remains united in common allegiance to comply with the tasks our country’s Constitution assigns to the SANDF.
(LT GEN A.M.L. MASONDO)
CHIEF OF THE SA NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE: GENERAL
Appendix to PIOC Report
Minister of Defence
Deputy Minister of Defence
BMATT REPORT FEB 0l
1. This is my last written report to you before I depart at the end of March. As such, it will comprise:
a. An overview, from my perspective, of my last 3+ years of monitoring the integration process. The content and tone is deliberately worded to provide you with background notes for any briefing you may shortly need to produce for the Parliamentary Integration Oversight Committee (PIOC). Hence, for ease of reference, I have also included a few statistics which I briefed you on last month.
b. The detailed BMATT Service Commanders reports to their respective Service chiefs at…
These are more comprehensive and probably not for the PIOC but they record, for completeness, the progress, or otherwise, since last month.
2. BMATT regular reporting of delays, unfairness, lack of transparency; obstructionism and transgressions of the mutually agreed integration rules may sometimes appear unduly negative, especially to the Services who feel criticised: the Services may even occasionally wonder if they are achieving much! It is therefore important, periodically, to keep any such criticism in overall perspective. Recent events in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world have reminded objective observers that the integration process in SANDF has still been a remarkable success, by any yardstick. The 3 incidents in the last 18 months at Tempe, Phalaborwa and Simon's Town were undoubtedly serious setbacks and important lessons needed to be learned. However, there have also been well over 2,000 days when nothing so extreme happened. The complex and sensitive integration process will always be particularly vulnerable to the actions of the unbalanced minority or disaffected individuals but, hopefully, these local storms have now been weathered and the subsequent Boards of Inquiry should have reassured all concerned that the causes as well as the effects of such events will be investigated thoroughly and their findings exposed transparently;
3. Racism is still widespread in South Africa and it would be naive to expect SANDF to be isolated from it. Eradication of it will not happen overnight but we do see some encouraging signs, especially amongst the youngsters. The vast majority of SANDF members appear to be simply getting on with their jobs, and with their work mates, whatever their personal feelings may be. Unfortunately; the media thrives on 'racist' stories - 'good news is no news' - and the achievements of the majority can be severely prejudiced by the publicity afforded to the extreme incidents which are widely broadcast. Such episodes polarise the former forces and disrupt the progress which has been made towards achieving cohesion. It is also injurious to discipline, morale and SANDF efficiency when individuals allege racism to cover up their own shortcomings, and this is an all too regular occurrence.
4. Notwithstanding BMATT's monthly recording of delays and inefficiency, the total Bridging Training (B Trg) bill is gradually being eroded and the package is currently about 85% complete. Promotion of ex-NSF members who have completed their B Trg is actually quite rapid; in some areas it is now measurably faster than for other component groups. There are now 70 black, Asian or Coloured Brig Generals or higher (out of 197), 23 Major Generals or higher (out of 48) and 9 Lt Generals or higher (out of 14). There is still a white bulge of Colonels and Lt Colonels (1,666 out of 2,045) and WOls and WO2s (2,695 out of 3,602). However, these ranks are the areas where the majority of the command, training, planing, discipline and 'operating' functions are executed, and most conventional forces worldwide would have a similar reservoir of experience and expertise in these key areas. Clearly representivity in these key ranks does need to improve, but it would be more constructive if this happened through rapid development and training rather than through tokenism or by a white exodus.
5. The core areas of capability remain largely unchanged i.e. white dominated. Integration of thousands or non-statutory forces, the majority with disadvantaged educational backgrounds, was never going to affect seriously the representivity figures in areas of technical, medical, naval or aviation specialisation. It is probable that a number of members did not have their potential in these areas fully assessed or developed in the early days ('94,'95) but the reality is, generally, that most of the ex-NSF members had no chance of gravitating into those specialised niches. The only core area to date where real progress has been made (and a few risks taken) is in the infantry where 8 out of 20 battalion commanders are black (6 ex NSF, 2 ex TBVC). The best hope for changing the status quo in most of the other core areas is by aggressive and highly focused recruitment of young black men and women (especially those aged 16 to 21) with maths and science qualifications. Innovative, bold and well targeted programmes to attract these young people are needed now.
6. Nonetheless, and despite all the setbacks and shortcomings, the integration process is on course. It is true that some standards have dropped, discipline has suffered and the effectiveness and deployability of the Force is probably lower then it should be. But the 'gloom merchants' often conveniently ignore the sheer scale and pace of change which SANDF has been subjected to, simultaneously; during the last 3 years. Transformation, in all its forms, reduced budgets and fundamental re-structuring would have diluted the capability and morale of most, well established, conventional forces let alone a fledgling force trying to meld together former forces of radically different backgrounds and expertise. Thus while SANDF still has a long way to go to be truly cohesive, it is a relative 'miracle' that so much has been achieved, so far.
7. In the broadest terms, the last 6 months have seen the restoration of equilibrium following the incidents at Phalaborwa and Simons Town. As more of the 'old guard' take VSPs or natural wastage occurs, and as more of the 'new guard' gain confidence in their new responsibilities, HQs in particular have become less polarised and more convivial workplaces. Our greatest source of encouragement for the future, however, is the quality and attitude of the youngsters who have joined since 1994 and have no baggage from any previous forces. They now constitute the second biggest component of SANDF (12,479 vis a vis 43,486 ex SADF, 10,734 ex MK, 5071 ex APLA and 5,970 ex TBVC). In places like the Army Gymnasium at Heidleberg. SAS Saldanha etc, the young men and women are not only undergoing arduous training together but, importantly, also play sport and socialise together. And hence are arguably far better integrated than their superiors and elders.
8. More specifically, each Arm of Service has made varying degrees of progress in the last
6 months. In order:
a. South African Army. The Army continues to bear the brunt of the integration process having taken about 6 times the number of ex NSF integratees that the other 3 Services took altogether (since 1994, the Army has taken 18,000 out of the 21,000 ex-NSF integratees). Of those still serving, in the Army 'proper' i.e. those not in another joint 'Pool,' 99% have completed their Basic B Trg, 95% have completed their Corps B Trg and 89 % have completed their Career B Trg (longer courses like the Senior Staff Course). The figures are not so high in other 'Pools', like Joint Support, due to the length and availability of more technical courses. In short, the overall B Trg package in the Army is about 95% complete and virtually all of the remainder have been tracked down and put on to the necessary courses this year. Pass rates in the training institutions have remained high and there is now a discernible impression of most instructors doing all that they can to pass students rather than find ways to fail them. The vast majority of instructors work harder than their students.
b. SAAF. 'Steady progress' is the verdict as ex-NSF members complete their scheduled courses. Not all the senior ex-NSF officers have covered themselves in glory but at least there is now a one Chief Director (Maj. Gen. Ngema) and 2 more newly promoted Brig Gens to protect their former charges' interests from within the chain of command. BMATT has briefed the Air Command Council on our views apropos improving representivity in the core areas, especially for aircrew, which remain predominantly white. We understand that a recruiting initiative is underway and that up to 2,500 prospective candidates have been identified. The reality is that with only 755 ex-NSF integratees since 1994 (8% of SAAF), there were never enough non-white members to affect representivity totals markedly. Real progress will need to come through the recruiting channels, and speedily.
c. SAN. A real injection of momentum has taken place since the arrival of the new Chief of the Navy in Nov 00. He has issued clear guidance, clarified divisions of responsibility and given sharp deadlines by which actions are to be completed. In particular, the long running saga of re-ranking virtually all former MK and APLA ranks is now nearing completion. An innovative solution is within reach (this month?) which should not compromise consistency across SANDF and is, in BMAT’s opinion, very generous to those affected. The appointment of Rear Admiral Mudimu to CDMS (the de facto Deputy Commander of the S.AN) is a very welcome development, as is the departure of some disruptive non-contributors. Significantly, the SAN's recruitment of black youngsters is hugely encouraging: 31% of young Sub Lts are black and 48% of the ensigns (ESNs) - remarkable statistics vis a vis 1994 when less than 1% of officers were black. It is a pity that so few, so far, have volunteered to go to sea in a warfare branch.
d. SAMHS.. SAMHS has now completed 91% of its B Trg remit and we are optimistic that the recent decisions to allow SAMHS to conduct its own personnel and logistics courses will not only reduce the figures further but will also clear out a backlog which had built up in those trades over several years. Some recent promotions of ex NSF officers to Maj Gen and Brig Gen rank should also ensure that the interests of the ex MK and ex APLA members are better catered for from within the Chain of Command. We also welcome the Surgeon General's decision to invite all the "over 50s' to complete an abridged version of the senior staff duties course this year to qualify them quickly without subjecting such senior folk to undue pressure when they have so little residual service. During the last 6 months we have also done a 100% audit of ex NSF members and SAMHS now has a very accurate handle on the B Trg bill. Courses have been allocated to all who need Basic B Trg, less for 3 members who are still sick.
AREAS OF CONCERN
9. None of the major areas of concern are new, indeed some have improved recently but the scale of them is such that they cannot yet be considered as having been 'solved.' Six months ago, our principal concern was the level of indiscipline, and it is still so. When over 8,000 members were awaiting court martial (as a comparator, the SAN is only 7,000 strong) something had clearly gone seriously wrong. There were many contributory reasons why the numbers were so large, the main concern was arresting the decline and restoring respect for sound military discipline and the morale and standards that are thereby engendered. The advent of the Code of Conduct has helped; at least everyone now has no excuse for not knowing what SANDF, and the country, expects of them. The removal of the worst criminals remains vital not least because of the harm that such bad apples can do in the barrack rooms, especially to the keen and able youngsters. Without having access to the latest figures, it is nonetheless our view that indiscipline has at least 'plateau'd out' if not decreased. We still recommend that the Code of Conduct is prosecuted with vigour, and that offences are dealt with fairly, transparently arid speedily. Too many officers and NCOs had become too wary of imposing discipline in case they were accused of racism. Commanding Officers in particular must have the confidence to do what is right, albeit in a compassionate way, and know that they will be supported by their superiors, especially the Generals, regardless of former force.
10. Anxietv about Transformation Staffing. There is now less anxiety about transformation staffing than there was 6 months ago - i.e. does the Individual rnember have a job in the transformed structure? The concern remains most acute in the Army, which is still scheduled to take almost all the cuts. But the fact that no enforced redundancies have yet occurred, and that there is less widespread speculation about retrenchment, has at least partially assuaged their concerns:
11. Dubious Oualitv of Staff Work. In general terms, we view a great deal of the policy and guidance coming from the Defence Staff Council and higher Defence Force fora as being both clear and progressive. At the other end of the scale, we similarly view the performance of most tasks at unit level and below (battalions, companies, air stations, ships, hospitals, sick bays etc) as being recognisably effective. It is therefore doubly disappointing that so many of the observations, delays, and criticisms that BMATT has reported over the years, as well as in the last 6 months, can only be attributable to the dubious quality of the staff work between the 2 levels (i.e. Maj. Gen. to Lt Col level responsibilities). Poor passage of information, lack of co-ordination of effort, unwillingness to accept responsibility, lack of anticipation, foresight or initiative and a variety of other shortcomings have been regularly reported and, to varying degrees, account for the policy not being fully delivered in the units. BMATT has refrained from implicit criticism of the new structures - the bottom line is that no matter how complicated, arcane or 'different' they are, they must be made to work, and not used as an excuse for non-delivery. The net result has been regular under-utilisation of courses and scant resources, career disruptions or delay to promotion prospects, and additional confusion for many officers and their staffs who are trying to get to grips with their new responsibilities
12. Pay and Promotion. It is with some relief that I report that we have heard less complaints about pay in recent months. There are still too many pay problems; often as a result of the individual members' indiscipline or financial over-commitment' but some progress is discernible. The most common grievance around the units is still frustration about promotion, invariably because they want the additional money not responsibility. Clearly there is a direct linkage with both success on courses and comparison with peer groups but, overall, expectations are also over-optimistic. Only the very best get promoted at the earliest stage of eligibility (i.e. minimum time in rank) in any Defence Force but the common perception that a member will be promoted once he or she has completed the minimum period in rank creates unrealistic aspirations. More education and information needs to be disseminated, if necessary by ex-NSF officers doing personal briefings at unit level to their former comrades.
KEY MILESTONES / DEADLINES / TASKS
13. I am optimistic that several key milestones can be achieved this year, and a few essential integration tasks thereby brought to a successful conclusion.
14. End of Integration Bill. The key activity is the End of Integration Bill, which we understand will occur by 31 Mar 01. This ‘drawing of a line in the sand' is a watershed between looking forwards instead of backwards. Despite the criteria for eligibility to join S.ANDF, it is reasonable to assume that after nearly 7 years those who really want to enlist have done so already. Some may have been delayed by studies or by being in jail but those numbers have been fairly small for some time. A final 'final' intake is currently being planned to mop up the stragglers (the DSC has approved 139 names but we understand there may be just over 200). Whatever the numbers, we would strongly recommend that their assembly; induction and Basic B Trg course starts within a month i.e. before 30 Mar 01. Thereafter, there will of course be a need to continue to run B Trg courses until everyone, including those in the final intake, has completed their individual Basic, Corps and Career Courses. And this will, realistically, take a further 2 years. But the total numbers should not exceed a few hundred in each Service and hence should no longer seriously affect their corn activities.
15. End of Demobilisation. Demobilisation as an integration task should also therefore cease as at 31 Mar 01. The longer it has run the more it has been in danger of being abused, and the more it has cost (already over R260 million).
16. End of Verification. The SAAF, SAN and SAMHS have completed the verification process and the Army has recently (this month) completed its auditing of the files. The long standing vexed issues of RSA citizenship and Educational Qualifications have at last been resolved and all that remains is the bureaucracy of dispatching 7,000 letters of acceptance to the members concerned, and their return of that correspondence. Hence, clerical activities aside, verification should also be complete by 31 Mar 01.
17. Completion of Basic B Trg. The saga of tracking down the final 100 or so members of the Army who, for a variety of odd reasons, had not completed their Basic B Trg courses, has run for months but the latest figures from the Army indicate only 33 members now come into the category: (SAMHS has 3, SAAF and SAN nil). With a possible intake of 139 to 200 from the ‘final’ intake (see 14 above) it seems sensible to run one final, multi-service Basic B Trg for the 250 (max) members in all these categories, at 3 SAl in Kimberley starting in late Mar. Completion of Basic B Trg, for everyone affected in all 4 Services, could thus be complete by 30 June 01.
18. In my opinion, the delay in the start of rationalisation/retrenchment has been very beneficial. The implications of discarding about 20,000 soldiers which gave us great concern 2 years ago, have been abated by the passage of time and the 'withering on the vine' during that period. SANDF is now only 9,348 above its transformation target of 70,000. The SAN and SAMHS are already about 1,000 arid 800 respectively below their transformation target and the SAAF is only 200 over. Hence while, in theory, the Army still needs to shed about 9,000, natural wastage is accounting fbr about 3,000 a year across SANDF. While it is not BMATT business per se, we still wonder whether SANDF will have enough battalions to meet its SAPS/border and other duties if it also has to commit battalions to PSO abroad, and has to relieve them in place. (Experience elsewhere has shown a need to keep 4 or 5 battalions in the orbat to keep one battalion deployed overseas and working on 6 month roulement ‘tours'). In short, the spectre of retrenchment is receding and will do so further if intra-Governmental department transfers also take place (e.g. to the SAPS). The sobering predictions about the onset of HIV/AIDS should also militate against an indecent haste to discard trained soldiers albeit the average age of the infantry in particular is too high. Finally if some members still need to be dismissed, there may be merit in applying linkage to the ill disciplined, sick and non-contributors - and keep the 70,000 who will contribute most to SANDF, both overseas and at home.
19. Some members of the PIOC and elsewhere (academia, and within SANDF) may possibly think that 'story so far’ is too upbeat and that there are more problems than we have articulated. We certainly do not under-estimate the problems but we also see risks in exaggerating them too. Yes, there is still a white officer/black troop perception amongst many, especially in units. Some white officers are still too rigid in implementing 'rules' and there is a worrying lack of concern for the training, welfare and care of many junior ranks. Some pay problems take too long to resolve, some members wait far too long for courses and, in their opinion, for promotion. The clearance rate for disciplinary offences is woefully slow and the loss of white expertise is also of major concern. Mentorship is often weak, both by the donor and by the receiver. And just as there is a natural inclination for members to personalise problems there is also a risk that people hearing these problems generalise about the extent and depth of them too.
20. We also feel that the training world, up to and including combined arms formation training needs some attention if the ex-NSF members are to really make their presence felt. There are still far too few ex-NSF and ex-TBVC instructors at Staff Colleges and in the Training Schools/Institutions with the result that white enclaves remain in too many areas. Allowing members only to apply for the jobs they want, in the areas they prefer, will maintain this status quo. It is in some ways symptomatic of a number of the integration dilemmas of the individuals' rights or wishes versus SANDF's requirements. In some areas, SANDF may have been too accommodating to the individuals' circumstances. Whilst this is a laudable 'fault', any sizeable deployment e.g. a 2 battalion group for PSO abroad would contain a significant number of sick (cardio vascular, psychiatric etc as well as HIV/AIDS), unfit/obese, welfare cases (e.g. single parents with dependant children) and uncommitted members (those who regard SANDF as a day job, not a career commitment).
21. There are many other concerns, some of which are integration issues per se, others which impact on the overall integration aim of achieving a genuinely cohesive force. It is true that many junior ranks still feel absorbed rather than integrated into SANDF and rules can still be interpreted/manipulated to suit the circumstances. Hence, while it is foolhardy to ignore the extent or nature of these problems – especially when remembering the damage that can be inflicted by one sufficiently aggrieved or disturbed member with a weapon - it is also important to note that the vast majority of the problems are known about and are being addressed. We are as frustrated as anyone is by the slow speed of resolution of some of these problems, especially as some appear to us to be pretty straightforward to rectify. Perhaps more of the Maj. Gen. to Col level officers (802) should individually and collectively accept responsibility to help delivery of the desired product: it is in everyone's interests.
22. I hope this report has indicated that progress on integration is neither as good as you would wish but not as bad as the pessimists say. The latter can often unfairly blame integration as the reason for shortcomings in Defence capabilities elsewhere and take little heed of the other contributory factors like limited funding. Similarly, while progress in the last 6 months has not been the most noticeable of my time here, it has not been the worst either. In short, 2 steps forward one step backwards.
23. We have been encouraged by the impetus since our Jan 01 report to you: there have definitely been foxes running around inside the hen house since then! As a result, I believe that the deadlines suggested last month are now even more achievable. The End of Integration Bill should also provide additional impetus to progress the final intake of integratees (130-200?) before the integration gate closes. Thereafter, processing the resultant B Trg and the residual B Trg packages should be more procedural and relatively straightforward.
24. I believe it is also important to record the contribution of the unsung heroes and heroines of the piece. I suspect that Ministers, Generals, BMATT and all sorts of other agencies could do all within their power to make integration a success but without the compliance - willing or passive - of the vast majority of the ordinary SANDF members, for less would have been achieved and far more setbacks have resulted. Like Service personnel in most professional forces, the majority has simply got on with the task in hand, even if they have moaned beneath their breath! Most of the disaffected or obstructionist factions have left and once all parties turn their loyalty totally to SANDF instead of their former forces, there will be a sound base upon which to build further.
25. As this is my last report to you, may I thank you for all your support to BMATT during your tenure of appointment. It has been a huge privilege to be 'on the inside' and witness this remarkable integration process which, warts and all, remains the most successful of its kind in the world. You, CSANDF, the Secretary for Defence, the 4 Service Chiefs, Lt Gen Matanzima, Lt Gen Masondo and countless others have afforded great support, access, hospitality and generosity and I wish you all the very best of luck with all your endeavours in the future.
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