Military Ombud, Public Protector agree to co-operate
The South African Military Ombud’s office and the Office of the Public Protector have signed a five year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to provide a framework for co-operation and collaboration between the two institutions. It is aimed a sharing information and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of both Military Ombud head of communication Nthombikayise Mdluli Jacha said. The Military Ombud was established in 2012 to investigate written complaints made by serving and former members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) about problems with conditions of service. The office also investigates complaints made by the public against unseemly or untoward conduct by soldiers in public. Jacha said the concept of South Africa having a Military Ombud was partly triggered by the Public Protector six year ago when military personnel “inundated” the Office of the Public Protector with complaints about the plight of retired soldiers and military veterans. “Grievances of this nature highlighted the need for a speedier mechanism with the necessary expertise to resolve the complaints expeditiously,” she said. Part of the just announced Ombud/Public Protector MoU reads “where a party receives a complaint, which falls within purview of the other party’s mandate, the receiving Party shall refer the complaint to the other Party for consideration or may refer the complainant to the said Party for further assistance”.