Minister had ‘no curiosity’ in army veterans’ woes or knowledge

The urge for Minister of Defence and Army Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to announce her new advisory council after the earlier time period of workplace got here to an finish final October doesn’t appear too urgent.

Members of the earlier council declare their efforts previously 5 years to advise the division have gone unnoticed. On Wednesday council members briefed the portfolio committee on defence and army veterans for the primary time since they had been appointed in 2015. The council was initially established in 2011.

Obbey Mabena, an Umkhonto weSizwe army veteran and a former member of the council, together with fellow ex-members voiced their despondency at serving on the council — whose function within the departmental hierarchy is above the director normal and on the identical stage because the division’s deputy minister.

“I can say right here, with none worry of any contradiction, that no matter assets had been spent on us, have yielded no outcomes by any means to the division,” Mabena advised the committee. 

He alleges that the division has didn’t serve army veterans.

“The reason for that’s we had a minister who had little interest in the decision of the issues that had been confronting army veterans. The appointment of the advisory council to the minister was nothing greater than ticking off a field.”

Mabena argues that the Act below which they stood, the Army Veterans Act 18 of 2011,  offered that the minister needed to appoint a council which she duly did, but it surely ended there, in keeping with Mabena.  

“Within the 5 years that we have now serviced the advisory council to the minister, we have now not had greater than 5 conferences with the minister. All of the suggestions we made to the minister I can’t bear in mind what number of responses we received again,” stated Mabena, concluding that an audit of the actions within the division was needed. 

Extra members, following Mabena, voiced their issues. Former council member, Snuki Zikalala, advised the committee army veterans “have been failed by our personal authorities” and that insurance policies on training, well being and housing, if appropriately managed, may gain advantage those that deserve it. One other former member, Dudu Phama, argued that if the council desires to be something greater than it has been, the Act have to be amended. The deputy minister Thabang Makwetla, nevertheless, responded that new council members can be introduced quickly.

He admitted that the council ought to have been in place on 1 October 2020 and the Act ought to have offered laws on the way it ought to perform.