Monday, July 13, 2015

South African military justice comes to a halt

Military justice has come to a grinding halt in South Africa. The problem, according to this Times Live article, is that the South African National Defense Force has failed to execute the appointment certificates for the country's military judges. The military courts have been idle since April and it is unclear when they will start up again. Excerpt:
According to the SA National Defence Union, the defence force's 20 judges preside over 1200 trials a year . The cases range from minor offences such as being absent without leave to serious crimes including rape, assault, murder and fraud. 
The judges' salaries add up to R3.1-million of taxpayers' money for the three months they have not worked. 
This does not take into account the salaries of military prosecutors, defenders, court clerks and transcribers. 
The revelation that the military courts are at a standstill follows a scathing UN report last month, which exposed South Africa's peacekeepers as the most accused of sexual misconduct. 
Among the damning findings were the failure of follow-ups on cases once the peacekeepers had been repatriated home for trial. 
SANDU secretary-general Pikkie Greeff said: "Soldiers' lives are in limbo because the minister and the commander of the SANDF have failed to do what they should have done months ago."

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