Military veterans' definition to stay - Pieter Groenewald

FF+ MP says old SADF members will be eligible, all beneficiaries will have to pass means test


The portfolio committee on Defence and Military Veterans in the National Assembly has retained the definition of what a military veteran is, as it was originally described in the Military Veterans Bill. According to the definition any person who had rendered military service in the statutory and non-statutory forces prior to 1994 qualifies as a military veteran. That means that national servicemen in the previous regime also qualify as military veterans in terms of the Bill.

"The decision to retain the definition gives recognition to all members of military forces who at one time or another made sacrifices in the struggle, regardless of which side of the struggle they had served on. It is the correct decision based upon reasonableness, fairness and impartiality which excludes politics. At times it is necessary to also work behind the scenes to have the correct decisions taken and politics, and especially party-politics, do not have a place in the decisions which affect the interests of members of military forces," Mr. Pieter Groenewald (MP), chief spokesperson on Defence and Military Veterans for the Freedom Front Plus says.

"It does however not mean that everyone who according to the definition is viewed to be a military veteran could lay claim to the benefits in the Bill. Every military veteran will also have to pass the means test. The Minister will however determine the means test which will amongst others determine that one's income will have to fall below a specific limit. At least proper recognition is now being given, not only to national servicemen, but also to the forgotten Cape Coloured Corps which had made sacrifices," Groenewald says.

Groenewald also warned that many former members are now being overrun by swindlers with e-mails which ask the personal particulars of members for a fee, then they qualify for certain benefits. These e-mails are false and should be rejected and members should be on the lookout so that they do not become innocent victims of crooks.

Statement issued by Mr. Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus Chief Spokesperson: Defence, June 29 2011

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