Presented by the Security Sector Governance Programme
The South African Defence Amendment Bill was gazetted 23 April 2010 is currently under review by parliament. The Bill seeks to amend sections of the Defence Act of 2002 in two areas: A revision of the role of the Reserve Force so that it can be utilized at all times and the establishment of a permanent Defence Force Commission which will advise the Minister with regard to the improvement of conditions of service in the SANDF. It is the latter objective of the Bill that has caused tension between the Minister and the parliamentary portfolio committee. Tensions between the minister and the parliamentary committee emerged because of the refusal by the Minister to submit the reports of the Interim National Defence Force Service Commission to them. The Minister has argued that the reports have no bearing on the processing of the Bill and that cabinet is still examining the reports and holds executive privilege to do so until such time that a â€˜final` report can be released.
The recent threat by the South African Security Forces Union (SASFU) that it would join the six-week strike by public servants is a clear indication of the seriousness of grievances within the SANDF. Is there a deeper crisis within the defence force? What are the challenges facing this security institution? Is parliamentary oversight being compromised? What are the risks of a parliamentary body legislating in the â€˜dark`? What legal options can the parliamentary committee exercise in order to either force the executive to release the reports or to halt the processing of the bill until such time that the reports are released to parliament?
This ISS seminar will unpack the above issues through a discussion on:
Current Challenges within the SANDF
Assessment of the Draft Amendment Bill
Challenges of Security Sector Oversight in South Africa
Hon. David Maynier- DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Mr Bhekinkosi Mvovo- President of South African Security Forces Union
Professor Lindy Heinecken- Professor of Sociology at Stellenbosch University
Please note that discussions occur under ISS Rules. Participants are free to use the information presented, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed without his/her express permission.
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