Soldiers snitch on colleagues misbehaving during lockdown deployment

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Soldiers deployed across the country are not shielding colleagues breaking the law while on lockdown deployment, says the military ombud.

“To date, we have received 33 complaints [against SANDF members] — 20 of these are from members of the public and 13 are from members of the SANDF members and former members of the SANDF,” Lt-Gen Vusumuzi Masondo told Power 98.7.

He said the complaints from the public included allegations of assault by soldiers, soldiers shooting their dogs, physical abuse and the general excessive use of force by the soldiers deployed to enforce the lockdown regulations.

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The complaints were received via e-mail and WhatsApp messages.

Masondo said none of these cases had been finalised, however, adding that there were processes that needed to be followed.

He said once they had received a complaint, they followed up by sending the complainant a form to fill out details of the event, including the time and date, as well as the names and contact details of any witnesses. Once all this information has been obtained, an investigation can be pursued.

Masondo said it was imperative that complainants noted the names of soldiers, which were always printed on their shirts.

Among the complaints they had received were four anonymous ones, which could not be taken forward.

Also important to note is that members of the public have 90 days from the day of the incident to lodge a complaint with the ombud.

Masondo could not confirm or rule out whether any of the complaints would result in criminal charges being pursued.

Referring to the case of Alexandra man Collin Khosa, who was allegedly killed by SANDF personnel at his home several days ago, Masondo said in an instance like this, the SANDF left all investigations to the police.

Complaint forms can be downloaded from www.milombud.org and then forwarded via
e-mail to intake@milombud.org or via Whatsapp to 012 676 3800.

– Sowetan


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