Brigadier-General Faces Charges

Erika Gibson, News24 (Cape Town), May 4, 2010

A sergeant major at the SA Army Combat Training Centre at Lohatlha in the Northern Cape is going to court after the general officer commanding of Lohatlha, Brigadier General Nontobeko Mpaxa, allegedly told him that she “hates whites” before spitting on the ground in front of him.

Apparently the incident occurred after At Malan was arrested. A bone in his arm was fractured during the arrest.

Malan, of the centre’s labour relations department, has submitted complaints to the SA Police Service (Saps) and the Military Police Agency (MPA) against Mpaxa as well as the minister of defence, Lindiwe Sisulu.

He has also begun civil proceedings against the general. Advocate Gert van Niekerk from Pretoria confirmed that he is taking legal action on Malan’s behalf.

Previous incident

This is not the first time that General Mpaxa’s management style has led to a confrontation.

She reportedly slapped a subordinate on a previous occasion. However, Malan believes she went too far this time.

The confrontation occurred on the night of March 31, when Malan apparently reprimanded a military policeman who was at a liquor store in Postmasburg in a military vehicle.

Moments later Malan was handcuffed, supposedly because the policeman thought he was intoxicated and driving drunk.

Apparently it was during the process of being bundled into the military vehicle that Malan’s arm and neck were hurt.

In his official statement Malan alleges that Mpaxa stormed into the hospital examination room where he was taken to have his injuries treated. Apparently she also prevented the doctor from completing a proper examination.

‘I hate you’

Later a private doctor ordered X-rays which clearly showed the injuries.

Malan’s statement also alleges that Mpaxa and her driver followed him. She apparently repeatedly yelled “I hate you! I hate you!” and spat on the ground.

Non-commissioned officers tried to calm her down, but to no avail.

According to the statement, the Saps did not want to pursue the drunken driving claims against Malan. The military policemen then had him locked up in a room at Lohatlha overnight.

General on shortlist for transfer

Military procedure dictates that he was supposed to be officially informed about the complaint against him the next day, but the MPA was unable to enter a charge sheet since they reportedly didn’t know what to charge him with.

Malan says in the statement that he is a dedicated soldier who has been receiving achievement bonuses for his good work for the past three years. He feels humiliated and belittled.

SA army chief Solly Shoke said in response that neither he nor the army will comment at this stage, since the legal process is already underway.

“The law must take its course.”

Mpaxa is reportedly on the shortlist for a transfer with promotion to a higher post in Pretoria.

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