Cape Corps Military Veterans march to Parliament calling for full reinstatement of benefits

The Cape Corps Military Veterans march to Parliament. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

The Cape Corps Military Veterans march to Parliament. Photographer Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

Published May 7, 2024


Cape Town - Members of the SA Cape Corps Military Veterans staged a peaceful march to Parliament yesterday and handed over a three-page memorandum and petition appealing for full military benefits and pension.

According to the veterans, they haven’t received benefits in 30 years, and their appeals to the government, including the Department of Military Veterans (DMV), have been ignored.

The march started in Hanover Street, District Six, with 21 veterans from regions including the North West, Pretoria and Cape Town, making their way to Parliament as they were supported by the Western Cape Aboriginal Governance Council.

General Aubrey Goliath, 60, from Bonteheuwel, retired in 1989 and said they had been appealing since 1994.

“For years we have been promised according to Article 18 of 2011, which makes provision for us as military veterans, that we will be compensated with every kind of benefit, but until today, we have received nothing.

“We just get papers and constantly need to apply, and hand in the necessary documents like our force numbers, but nothing has taken place amongst our Cape Corps Military Veterans.

“We need to ask and follow up every time, then we are told to wait and have patience.

“We are not greedy, we just want what rightfully belongs to us, therefore our demand is for them to foresee us that which has been promised to us.

“I don’t even have bread in my house, some who fought with us don’t even have a house and sleep under bridges. We are getting old and have no medical aid. I am semi-blind because while protecting our borders, the warfare deteriorated my eyesight due to the bombs and contact we struck. Some veterans are disabled, others are blind and others are deaf.”

Another veteran, Ernest van Rooyen, 62, says to survive, he is an EPWP worker and does odd jobs to earn an extra buck. “We have been waiting too long, the DMV did not do its job, there is nobody who can give us answers. In 2016, I got a R500 for the first and last time from the DMV for education, they expect me to pay school fees, stationery, transport and uniforms with that money. I am dependent on the old age pension.”

After waiting for over an hour for someone from Parliament to address the crowd, the Western Cape Provincial Coordinator of Military Veterans, Michael Masala, arrived, saying: “The people in the ministry who are authorised to receive the memorandum are not here. I am here to receive the memorandum on behalf of the department and I will send it to the minister’s office who will be the one who responds.”

An agreement was made that Masala would email the memorandum to the Minister of Defence.

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Cape Argus

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