The Defence Laws Repeal And Amendment Bill B7-2015 by Mr MA Mncwango, MP.

Honourable Speaker,

The South African Law Reform Commission recommended the repeal of Defence laws it considered to be redundant, and the amendment of those inconsistent with the Constitution’s equality clause. The Defence Laws Repeal and Amendment Bill [B7 -2015] therefore seeks to repeal sixteen Defence laws and proposes an amendment to the Castle Management Act, 1993.

There is one of the 16 however, that we feel should not be repealed but rather amended, is the Termination of Integration Intake Act of 2001. Integration has not as yet been fully completed and we still find many soldiers who contributed greatly to the freedom we now so easily take for granted in South Africa, who have not been accommodated and integrated into the standing defence force of this Country.

Many members of the former self-protection and self-defence units find themselves being left out in the cold, languishing in a country that no longer values or recognizes the great sacrifices and contributions they made during the struggle for our freedom and democracy.

This is not the way we should be repaying those valiant comrades; the matter of integration should be kept open until all have been accommodated in to our Defence forces. Let us not turn our backs on them.

Honourable Speaker, another matter which also behoves our urgent attention, is that of the repeal of the demobilization Act. Twenty one years after democracy we still find the armed wing of the ANC, uMkhonto weSizwe, being publicly paraded around by the ruling party as if it’s a private army. This is both reckless and irresponsible by the ruling party.

Public parades of this nature by military forces outside of government, but yet with government sanction are breeding grounds for lawlessness and criminality.

The spear of the nation has accomplished its task. It has an able successor in the South African National Defence Force. It must be publicly demobilized and the ruling parties full weight thrown behind the SANDF.

As we have no enemies on our borders, our military’s role becomes that of a peacekeeper. First and foremost though must be the protection of the constitution and rule of law. One legitimate defence force is all South Africa requires.

I thank you.