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Defence Minister 'has no confidence' in SANDF to conduct sex abuse investigation

She’s set up an external task team to probe the matter. The task team will be looking into cases from 2014.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she had no confidence that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will investigate itself on allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse.

She’s set up an external task team to probe the matter. The task team will be looking into cases from 2014.

The minister said the behaviour of South African troops deployed in other countries had raised red flags.

A report leaked to the media shows that only 13 of more than 40 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse reported in SANDF were completed.

Mapisa-Nqakula has appointed a task team from outside the army to investigate.

“The SANDF must open itself up to scrutiny to self-correct. I have confidence in the structures of the SANDF but with this issue, my confidence is very limited especially with the report that you have acquired legally.”

The minister said sexual abuse allegations from countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where South African troops are deployed, raised concerns about abuses at home.

“This problem is just as prevalent in the country.”

The task team is headed by former gender commission chair Thoko Mpumlwana and it consists of former army generals, lawyers and doctors.

“They will analyse the sentences and check guilty findings, to see if they fit the crimes or to determine if the sentences are in line with civilian courts.”

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