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Military Discipline Bill Withdrawn From Parliament

March 20, 2020

Parliament

The Military Discipline Bill has been withdrawn from parliament.

The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2019.

Cabinet approved the bill in August 2018 for tabling in parliament.

In the cabinet statement, the bill was described as addressing the “administration of military judicial system, creation and appointment of military police services, and disciplinary hearings”.

Cabinet also announced that the proposed legislation will repeal the current Military Discipline Supplementary Measures Act of 1999 and align SANDF Military Discipline to the United Nations with particular emphasis on soldiers in peacekeeping missions.

The bill seeks to:

• provide for an effective administration of the military justice system and maintenance of discipline in the Defence Force;
• establish and regulate military courts and appointment of judicial officers and court officials;
• provide for the appointment of the Judge Advocate General and Provost Marshal General of the Defence Force;
• provide for administrative processes;
• repeal the Military Supplementary Measures Act, 1999; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the bill addresses three crucial issues, namely, the administration of the military judicial system, the creation and appointment of the military police services and disciplinary hearings at the unit level in the Defence Force.

The portfolio committee on defence and military veterans sought comment on the bill earlier this year.

In a statement, the committee confirmed that the bill has been withdrawn “in order to allow for further consultation on the contents of the Bill”.

13 inputs received during the consultation phase will be forwarded to the department and “will have to be considered in the department’s review of the Bill, before resubmission to Parliament”.