Picture: 123RF/3DRENDERINGS
Picture: 123RF/3DRENDERINGS

Military trials have commenced related to the allegations of sexual exploitation, abuse and serious misconduct against members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) that are deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in support of the UN stabilisation mission.

Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said at a post-Cabinet meeting media briefing on Thursday that a team was deployed to investigate all the reported allegations. "Although some of the cases have been finalised, others are already at the stage of military trials. All these investigations have been conducted through the military legal process in a transparent and accountable manner."

The minister stressed that "ill discipline and criminal behaviour in the ranks of the SANDF is despised and will not be tolerated. Those found to have transgressed will be dealt with through the code of conduct and military disciplinary code".

Mokonyane also announced that Cabinet supported the finalisation of the Military Disciplinary Bill which will deal with overall discipline in the SANDF. It will strengthen the definition of sexual exploitation and increase the minimum sanction to 10 years.