22 March 2018

South Africa: Defence On Allegations of Abuse and Sexual Exploitation By SANDF in Congo

press release

Media reports on allegations of abuse and sexual exploitation by members of the South African National Defence Force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

As previously stated, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) wishes to reiterate its stance against any abuse of civilian members or population where it is deployed in support of the peace keeping efforts of the United Nations. That it deplores such behaviour from any of its members and takes these allegations in the most serious light.

In view of these having surface the SANDF swiftly moved to send its legal officers and investigators to the mission area to deal with the efficacy of such reports. Once again it must be noted that these investigations are being conducted in close liaison with the United Nations office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

As was reported and can be attested to, South Africa has in the past reacted with speed when such incidences occurred. This is with the view to ensure that justice is seen to be done and that if there is any shred of evidence pointing to an RSA members, that they are dealt with immediately as has happened before where such allegations were found to be true.

It is however disturbing and disconcerting as reported in the media to be accused of not cooperating with the UN in such matters, whereas the truth is the opposite. Furthermore, such reports seem to suggest that these are new allegations which have surfaced when in actual fact these incidents being referred to occurred a while back.

That they are presently under investigation and will be concluded as quickly as required by the UN. The investigating team that is currently in the DRC is also mandated to investigate any such incidences that have surfaced beyond 2016.

The Chief of the SANDF, General Solly Shoke, is on record to have emphasised that ill-discipline and criminal behaviour in the ranks of the SANDF is despised and will not be tolerated and those found to have transgressed the Code of Conduct and Military Disciplinary Code will be dealt with without fear or favour.

Issued by: Department of Defence

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