‘Show our report on secret unit in army’ – DA

Henry

The DA says the last thing a democratic South Africa needs now is an army that functions like a Gestapo force and kidnaps and murders citizens with impunity.

The opposition party has therefore made an application in terms of the Act on the Promotion of Access to Information (Paia) to the head of the South African National Defense Force (SANW), Gen. Rudzani Maphwanya, filed in which Maphwanya is requested to provide the DA with a copy of the Moorhouse investigation report into alleged criminal activities in the army.

The criminal activities include, according to the civil rights organization Open Secrets, a secret unit in the army, which allegedly made him guilty of torture and even murder.

It is further claimed that this unit consists of members of the special forces, military police, defense intelligence and the defense legal services.

Yet a report on an investigation into the damning allegations has not yet seen the light of day.

Kobus Marais, the DA’s spokesperson on defence, says the SANW apparently has a board of inquiry led by Brig.-Gen. John Moorhouse appointed to investigate complaints of alleged crimes within the army.

According to Open Secrets, the testimonies of several people were heard as part of the investigation and witnesses apparently told a story of corruption, abuse of office and torture of civilians among others.

Marais says six months after the completion of the investigation and its subsequent presentation to Maphwania, the report has still not been made public or before the portfolio committee on defense was tabled in parliament.

The DA argues that the release of the report is in the public interest as some of the alleged victims of torture are civilians whose cases have not been properly investigated. The alleged perpetrators were also never brought before a court.

Marais says the publication of the Moorhouse investigation report will shed light on the allegations that this secret unit within the army may have been responsible for the assassination of the Falcons investigator Frans Mathipa who at the time of his death was engaged in a criminal investigation into the activities of a special forces operator.

“The report will also help to give insight into the circumstances that led to the death of a civilian, (known only as) Sphamandla, after hours of torture by some members of the secret unit,” says Marais.