Wednesday, April 20, 2016

No military judges, no courts-martial

Remember how it looked like military justice had ground to a halt in South Africa because there were no judges to try cases? It's still true. Consider the following from this report:
A group of soldiers who faced charges of violating curfew while in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) plan to take the Department of Defence and Military Veterans to court for being dismissed, allegedly without a hearing in a military court, their union said on Monday. 
SA National Defence Union (Sandu) national secretary Pikkie Greeff, said 32 soldiers were dismissed without a hearing, because the military court has come to a standstill over security clearances for judges. 
This came to light after a parliamentary reply to a written question by DA MP Sarel Marais on how many soldiers had been charged with transgressions while serving in the DRC. 
According to the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, 90 soldiers in South Africa's peace keeping force were charged with transgressions for 2015/16.
Eight were fined R600 at a disciplinary hearing by their commanding officers. Of the remaining 82, 46 were discharged in terms of the Defence Act and 36 could not be tried because of the non assignment of military judges.

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