Silence on DRC army sex charges - Times LIVE
   
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Sun Dec 11 02:13:22 SAST 2016

Silence on DRC army sex charges

GRAEME HOSKEN | 2016-11-11 06:33:35.0

Image by: GALLO/GETTY IMAGES

The military ombudsman has no idea what has happened to the 20 allegations of sexual crimes committed by South African peacekeeping troops that it referred to the defence force for investigation.

A year after referring a report by the SA Gender Commission that alleged sexual misconduct by members of the SANDF on a UN peacekeeping mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the ombudsman has still not heard from the military.

The ombudsman, retired Lieutenant-General Temba Matanzima, was appointed in 2012 to deal with soldiers' grievances and allegations of misconduct.

The office has investigated an average of 500 cases a year, including disputes over salaries, training, promotion and discipline.

It is not empowered to investigate criminal matters, which it refers to the military or the police.

In June last year, the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services investigated allegations of sexual offenses committed by its peacekeepers.

South Africa topped the list of offending nations .

The ombudsman' s chief director of operations, Siviwe Njikela, said: "We referred [the report] to the SANDF chief. We have not had feedback ."

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