DA demands investigation into lavish R5 million funeral spending by SANDF

Issued by Kobus Marais MP – DA Shadow Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
06 Dec 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Kobus Marais MP

The DA expresses deep concern over the reported excessive spending by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on the funeral arrangements for Chief Logistics Lt Gen Xolani Ndlovu. Despite clear directives from the National Treasury to exercise fiscal restraint, it is disconcerting to learn that over R5 million was allocated for the funeral expenses.

While acknowledging the need to honour and support the passing of military personnel, the DA questions the seemingly unrestrained use of funds, especially during a period of austerity measures. A downscaled yet dignified funeral would have been more appropriate, considering the urgent requirements to save the SANDF’s defense and protection capabilities.

The use of the only serviceable C130 and the only two serviceable Gripens from AFB Makhado for a flypast, along with the reported use of the Brazilian Embraer C-390 as a luxury taxi, raises serious concerns about responsible resource allocation. These actions come at a time when defense budget cuts and critical resource challenges threaten the retention of essential defense force capabilities.

In light of these concerns, the DA urgently calls on the Minister of Defence to institute an independent board of inquiry into this apparent reckless spending spree. There must be consequences for those responsible for these preventable and unjustified expenses. The DA further emphasises the need for clear guidelines to ensure the implementation of austerity measures across all sectors of the Department of Defence and the SANDF.

The DA reaffirms its commitment to honouring fallen soldiers while urging prudent financial management to safeguard the nation’s scarce funds and prioritise the funding of constitutional primary responsibilities within the DoD and SANDF.

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