Defence Minister Modise is denying pension benefits to statutory forces

Issued by Maliyakhe Shelembe MP – DA Deputy Shadow Minister on Defence and Military Veterans
20 Dec 2022 in News

The proposed military veterans pensions benefits regulations policy signed by the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise on the 7th December 2022 for public comment is a complete marginalisation of other military veterans and is not in line with the Military Veterans Act no 18 of 2011.

The draft policy signed by the Minister to provide pension benefits to military veterans is only considering the non-statutory forces and has completely left out statutory forces.

These proposed pension benefits regulations are unfair unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights in our Constitution clearly states that everyone is equal before the law, has the right to protection and further stipulates that discrimination on one or more is unfair and

The DA finds it very disappointing that the Minister is undermining and failing to uphold the Military Veterans Act which clearly defines that the “Military Veterans means any South African Citizen (1) who rendered military service to any of the military organisations, statutory and non statutory forces which were involved in all sides of South Africa’s liberation’s War from 1960 to 1994, (2) who became the member of the South African National Defence Force after 1994” but in the draft the Minister only mentions the non-statutory forces of Umkhonto weSizwe and APLA. Another worrying question is why the South African Cape Corp has been left out in the draft.

This marginalisation of other military veterans by the Minister of Defence is totally unacceptable and inappropriate. Hence the DA will be writing to Minister demanding her to not undermine the Military Veterans Act of 2018 and do the right thing. We are furthermore concerned that the Department of Military Veterans has since 2011 to date been failing to implement the act and again is still failing with the regulations of rolling out pensions benefits.

We reiterate that the Minister must be steadfast and unwaveringly support the Act and our Constitution in order to accommodate all military veterans. The current draft military veterans pension benefits regulations policy should not be taken at its current status until all forces are included.