WISHFUL THINKING? THE INSTITUTIONALISATION OF DEMOCRATIC MILITARY VALUES IN THE SA NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE
When the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was established in 1994 the Minister of Defence perceived a need for its members to be subjected to close civilian control and for the armed forces to be educated to observe the rule of law and to be inculcated with the spirit of democratic civil military relations. This article is an account of the foundations of the teaching of Civic Education in the SANDF as a means of regulating civil-military relations by developing soldiers’ knowledge of their democratic rights and duties under the law. A description is given of the process of developing syllabi and substantive teaching material that emphasises the democratic features of military professionalism and civil military relations together with an explanation of the successes and failures experienced. The author concludes that the introduction of the Code of Conduct for Uniformed Personnel and providing instruction to a substantial number of middle rank officers and other ranks were a significant success. However, the failure to influence subsequent ministers, the heads of the services and the Defence Secretariat as well as the abolition of the supervisory Civic Education Evaluation and Advisory Board have seriously weakened the institutionalisation of Civic Education in the SANDF.