SANDF, South African Defense Force, end of apartheid, informal training, high rank
South Africa’s armed forces answer to the elected parliament and executive civilian authorities. For a brief period in the 1980s, under President P. W. Botha, Defense Force leaders were allowed considerable influence in government, but this is no longer the case. The new South African National Defense Force (SANDF) in 2001 included an air force of 9,250 and a navy of 5,000 personnel. The army experienced major restructuring after the end of apartheid. Seven separate military forces were integrated into one.
The former South African Defense Force, the defense force of each of the four nominally independent bantustans, and the military wings of the ANC and PAC all participate in the army. Together these add up to 41,750 personnel. The integration process has caused some problems, in part because it is difficult for ex-guerrillas to attain high rank in the new defense force. Most of them, from the military wings of the ANC and PAC, have only informal training.
Conscription was abolished in 1994. The permanent core of the SANDF will be supplemented by a new part-time force drawn from current members of the citizen force and commando structures.
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