THE SA National Editors' Forum is disturbed at the reported statement of Judge Ronnie Bosielo, who is heading the commission inquiring into conditions of service, accommodation and salaries of South African soldiers, that his final report to Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will not be made public, according to a news release.

Judge Bosielo has already raised the alarm over the reportedly deplorable conditions endured by SA’s army personnel by referring to the defence force as “a ticking time-bomb” in a report to parliament’s committee on defence.

In view of the near mutiny of soldiers who demonstrated outside the Union Buildings in Pretoria in August against their “untenable” conditions, their firing by the minister and reinstatement some weeks later, it is essential that the final report and its recommendations be disclosed to the public. Apart from those considerations, the public have a right to know what treatment is being meted out to people employed in the service of the country.

Sanef recognizes that the minister and government have claims on seeing the report first and dealing with its contents, but this is no excuse for stating that the contents will not be revealed to the public.

Sanef calls on Judge Bosielo and Minister Sisulu to ensure that the report is published.

Issued by: SA National Editors' Forum (SANEF)
15 December 2009

For further comment please contact:
Henry Jeffreys – SANEF Deputy Chairperson: 082 556 8883
Thabo Leshilo – SANEF Media Freedom Chairperson: 082 466 8140
Raymond Louw – SANEF Media Freedom Committee Member: 011 646 8790 / 082 446 5155