The wait for compensation continues for the dedicated soldiers of the Umzimvubu Regiment, who have been left unpaid for two years despite two boards of inquiry (BOI) investigating the matter.
In April, during a session of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD), it was believed that the issues regarding the call-up related to the Gauteng/KwaZulu-Natal unrest had been resolved as reported by Defence Web. However, this seems to not be the case, and Maliyakhe Shelembe, the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) shadow deputy defence and military veterans minister, is raising concerns about Minister Thandi Modise’s perceived lack of commitment in addressing the matter concerning the 822 unpaid volunteers.
Shelembe’s involvement in the call-up of the Eastern Cape Reserve Force regiment dates back to March of the previous year. At that time, he initially reached out to Minister Modise, who assured him that she would review the findings of the BOI after General Rudzani Maphwanya, Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), had reviewed them. However, despite the BOI recommendations clearly stating that all volunteers who responded to the call-up should be considered for compensation, Shelembe criticizes Minister Modise for her silence and apparent lack of urgency in resolving the issue.
Questioning whether her inaction stems from personal immunity against the potential consequences faced by the unpaid Reserve Force soldiers, Shelembe has once again contacted Minister Modise, demanding the immediate implementation of the BOI recommendations.
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