“Rearranging the deck chairs while the ship is sinking” is how one former general described the department of defence’s latest appointments and promotions of about 80 colonels and naval captains.

The department’s financial woes have been highlighted repeatedly during briefings to parliamentary committees and in media reports. The urgent need for reorganisation to cut back on units, capabilities and people to trim down the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been widely expressed...

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