South Africa’s first Military Ombudsman sworn-in
16 May 2012
By Cpl Ally Rakoma
Photos by S Sgt Lebogang Tlhaole
On 14 May 2012, Lt Gen Temba Matanzima was
sworn in as South Africa’s first military
ombudsman at the Thaba Tshwane Sports Hall in
Pretoria. The purpose of the military ombudsman
is to safeguard the rights of all members of the
SANDF and military veterans, allowing
individuals to raise their complaints or
concerns when they have been treated improperly
As an ombudsman, Lt Gen Matanzima will
independently investigate complaints lodged in
writing regarding conditions of service. Very
importantly, the ombudsman may refuse to
investigate a complaint if the investigation is
likely to undermine the channels of command.
The Public Protector, Advocate Thuli
Madonsela, said her office had made a
significant contribution to the drafting of the
Ombud Bill before it was approved. The Secretary
for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, said that the
Ombudsman could address or take actions on his
own initiative in any matter that come to his
attention. He said that he would not be
investigating matters raised in the media or on
The Minister of Defence and Military
Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu proudly said that
the launch of the Military Ombudsman’s Office
was a remarkable event for the Defence Force.
She mentioned that SANDF had changed
substantially and today our soldiers have a
greater sense of their right to recourse through
“The military ombud is a soldier’s appeal
office in terms of internal military grievance
procedures. It is an essential ingredient in the
pursuit of a systematic approach to a democratic
rights-based military culture,” she said.
In his acceptance speech, Lt Gen Matanzima
pledged that complaints raised within the SANDF
would be investigated impartially without fear,
favour or prejudice.
Service Chiefs and Senior Officers of the SANDF came to wish Lt Gen Temba Matanzima well after being sworn in as South Africa’s first military Ombudsman
Arrival of the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu (front right) and the Chief of the SANDF, Gen Solly Shoke (left). In the background, Mr Siphiwe Dlamini, the Head of Communication accompanying Judge Francis Legodi of the High Court in Pretoria to the podium.
Esteemed dignitaries and members of the Royal Family came to witness as a son of the soil took the oath and solemn undertaking as South Africa’s first Military Ombudsman.
Fltr: The Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, Lt Gen Temba Matanzima and Justice Francis Legodi before the swearing-in ceremony.
Judge Francis Legodi (right) administers the Oath of Office to Lt Gen Temba Matanzima as South Africa’s Military Ombudsman.
Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela highlighting key tasks delegated to the Office of the Military Ombudsman.
The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, addressing dignitaries and guests at the swearing-in ceremony.
The Chief of the SA Navy, V Adm Johannes Mudimu, paying tribute to Lt Gen Temba Matanzima on behalf of the Chief of the SANDF, Gen Solly Shoke and all members of the SANDF at the swearing-in ceremony.