Guarding the Guardians Parliamentary Oversight of the South African Department of Defence : 1994 to 2003

"The South Africa experience of establishing and entrenching healthy, democratic civil–military relations and parliamentary oversight of the military was a long process and required commitment and conviction. It is often stated that this transformation was a process and not an event. Fortunately the process was anchored in the constitution that was itself the product of fundamental and inclusive negotiations. During the development of a new defence policy in the form of the White Paper on Defence and the Defence Review and the later development of a new Defence Act and other legislation, the JSCD insisted on transparent, consultative and inclusive processes and was willing to contribute at all levels in these processes. The JSCD refused to act as a rubber stamp on work done by officials but served in sub-committees and workgroups involved in the actual research and drafting of policy. This was met with some resistance initially and was seen as an interference, but with time it was accepted and in fact welcomed. This approach set a precedent that has lasted till today."