tional power-sharing arrangement as the only method to forestall what he termed the 'already incipient counter-revolutionary movement' with the SADF."66
Between February 1990 and April 1994, an estimated twelve thousand people died in political violence.
In commenting on the involvement of both the SAP and the SANDF in the transformation in South Africa, President Mandela stated that, "Whatever mistakes they have made in the past--and whatever certain elements are doing with the security forces--there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of the security forces are behind the transformation."67 the history of the role of the military in the maintenance of apartheid South Africa, it is indeed amazing that the SANDF has been supportive of the new political dispensation in South Africa. No doubt the decision by the ANC during negotiations to allow all military personnel to retain their jobs has contributed to the stability of the transition, as did the fact that many of the hardliners had been retrenched under de Klerk. Of particular importance for the new government was the fact that General van der Westhuizen took early retirement.
While keeping in place the old guard, Mandela has attempted to give some balance to the SANDF. Siphiwe Nyanda, former MK chief of staff, became the SANDF's first black chief of staff. In addition, seven former MK members were appointed generals and two brigadiers.68 No doubt with a view to maintaining stability in the military, General Meiring retained his position as chief of the South African defense force.
The greatest problem the military has had to confront to date concerns the integration of MK forces. Specifically, on two occasions within a month ( October-November 1994), thousands of MK soldiers went absent without leave from Wallmannsthal, an army base north of Pretoria. A total of twenty-two thousand MK soldiers are to be integrated into the ninety thousand-strong SANDF. Complaints by the soldiers included unequal pay, poor medical facilities, bad food, and racism. In a preliminary report by Parliament's defense committee, conditions at Wallmannsthal were described as appalling, and racial discrimination was determined to be rife.69 However, at least two thousand soldiers were dismissed by Mandela after they refused to return to the base.70
Ironically, members of the ANC could prove to be the greatest challenge to military stability during the post-apartheid era. To prevent this from occurring, major changes no doubt will be required in the near future in order to begin to redress the consequences of apartheid within the ranks of the military.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Political Role of the Military:An International Handbook. Contributors: Constantine P. Danopoulos - Editor, Cynthia Watson - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1996. Page number: 387.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.