R2,000 bribe sees senior SANDF officer sentenced to jail, discharged

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Acceptance of a R2,000 bribe to place someone in the defence’s force’s voluntary service system has seen a senior SANDF officer sentenced to a four-year jail term and dishonourably discharged.

South African National Defence Force spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi said Col Alicia Andiswa Mdekazi, 58, the senior staff officer of human resources acquisition (HR Acq), was found guilty on all three charges preferred against her.

The sentencing follows an intensive investigation and a subsequent trial after allegations  were levelled against Mdekazi.

The SANDF had accused Mdekazi of having conducted herself in a manner consistent with promoting corruption and fraud against the SANDF.

It was found that Mdekazi used her rank and position to influence her subordinates to effect various corrupt transactions that favoured a rejected application of a Military Skills Development System (MSDS) applicant after having received “monetary compensation” from the mother of the MSDS applicant to the total value of R2000.

The mother of the MSDS applicant is a warrant officer in the SANDF. The warrant officer was charged for her part in the matter.

Mdekazi was also found guilty of misrepresentation to the SANDF by gaining entry into the HR Acq system and fraudulently influencing the approval of the appointment of another MSDS applicant.

Mdekazi’s intervention happened after the application was rejected due to the applicant not meeting the required criteria for appointment to the MSDS.

Mgobozi said Mdekazi was initially sentenced by a senior military judge to an effective dismissal from the SANDF

The sentence was reviewed on Friday, July 5, by the Court of Military Appeals.

The appellate court changed her sentence to an effective direct imprisonment for a period of four years and “cashiering”.

Cashiering is dismissal from the armed forces in disgrace because of a serious misdemeanour.

Mgobozi said the SANDF’s human resources processes of separation had been effected and Mdekazi would start serving her sentence at the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria.

He said the Military Command Council welcomed the sentence handed down.

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