The United Democratic Movement (UDM) calls for thorough investigation on the serious allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against the members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The SANDF received a report from the United Nations (UN) containing serious allegations of serious acts of ill-discipline and misconduct by its members deployed under the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).
The allegations contained in the UN report on Sunday, 1st October 2023, are that eight soldiers deployed in Beni were arrested by the United Nations Military Police (UN MP) for being in direct breach of the curfew time and other regulations related Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).
The Republic of South Africa, as a Troop Contributing Country (TCC) was not informed of these allegations as is normal procedure but first learnt about such in media reports. The reporting procedure (according to the SANDF) was not followed by the UN because RSA Defence Advisor nor the RSA United Nations Representative were not informed as per the Standard Operating Procedure for all TCCs.
Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the SANDF took a decision to recall the implicated eight soldiers back to the country to answer to the allegations and to give account(s) of events that transpired on Sunday in Beni. Furthermore, the National Investigating Officers have been dispatched to the MONUSCO deployment area to conduct a formal investigation, which upon completion, the SANDF will pronounce itself.
United Democratic Movement National Office
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General