“The department of Military Veteran’s intention, according to their spokesperson, Mbulelo Mmusi, to remove the names of 16 000 former servicemen, who had registered as military veterans, from the department’s data base, is illegal. I have already contacted the director general, Mr. Motumi, about this and have also asked for an urgent meeting with the minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Ms. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula. The law provides for an Appeals Board which has to hear any complaint and wrongdoing, but the Appeals Board has not even been appointed. It would therefore be illegal to remove the data if mechanisms which have to consider complaints are not even in place yet,” Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the chief spokesperson on Defence for the Freedom Front Plus says.
“The definition of a military veteran in the Military Veterans Act, 18 of 2011, is very clear and servicemen qualify. Section 2 of the Act stipulates that just because an individual is defined as a military veteran, that individual is not necessarily entitled to any benefits in terms of the Act. Section 3(c) stipulates that such an individual also has to pass a means test in order to receive benefits. The means test has now only been contained in regulations which still have to be tabled in parliament. The Freedom Front Plus views this issue in a very serious light and will, if necessary, even consider legal steps,” Dr. Groenewald said.
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