Amendments to the Defence Act to improve discipline will only work if they are implemented with discipline
11 September 2018
Discipline is needed to properly enforce any law or rule. And, therefore, any changes to the Defence Act that are aimed at improving discipline in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) must be welcomed.
One example of how discipline will be increased by means of the Act is that if a member is absent from service for more than ten consecutive days without leave, his/her service will be suspended at once.
The Defence Force needs stricter measures and more discipline seeing as it is general practice for members to report for service and then leave the base. In Potchefstroom, members openly boast that they only stay at the base until ten in the morning and then they go to town for the rest of the day.
The Amendment Bill grants the Minister of Defence certain powers and competencies to announce measures that will make military bases safer.
The FF Plus supports the Bill seeing as it is unacceptable to see in the media how guards at the entrance to a military base are fast asleep while they are on duty or that they are attacked and robbed of their R4 rifles and ammunition by criminals armed only with knives.
Such poor discipline is simply unacceptable. The necessary measures are in place and the Minister must see to it that discipline, in particular, is increased.
Regardless of what laws or rules are put forth, their successful implementation depends solely on the discipline with which members enforce them. It is necessary to drill discipline into members by means of proper training as only then a law that aims to improve discipline will be of any use.
Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 11 September 2018