Chief of the SA National Defence Force, General Rudzani Maphwanya, has denied and dismissed allegations that there was a death squad within the defence force that carried out activities of murder and torture.
“There are no military squads in the defence force that exist to carry out acts of torture and murder for whatever reasons,” he said.
He said the force operated in a constitutional and democratic state.
“These are unfounded allegations.”
Maphwanya was responding to “torture squad” allegations during a media briefing on Thursday at the Defence Media Centre in Pretoria.
The civil organisation, Open Secrets, alleged that a military squad was responsible for acts of torture and murder.
The organisation further alleged that the rogue unit, comprising the Special Forces Brigade, the Military Police, Defence Intelligence, and Defence Legal Services – was operating with impunity and raised concerns of a large-scale criminal conspiracy within the SANDF.
According to Open Secrets, the activities of the rogue unit formed part of the Moorhouse Board of Inquiry.
Maphwanya denied the allegations and said they risk damaging and harming the reputation and image of the SANDF.
“I was not appointed to lead the torture squad … these are serious allegations and they are damaging the reputation of the SANDF,” he said.
However, Maphwanya raised concerns about those who had information but never went to the police to report it.
“Those who have the evidence along with their sources should report such crime to the authorities,” he said. He added that the alleged torture squad within the military could be construed as an act of defeating the ends of justice.
He further mentioned that he was not aware of any one being torched because of the recent expose by Open Secrets. He said that they will look into the matter going forward.