SA CORPS OF MILITARY POLICE

1989-1999

1989

During 1989 the SACMP were involved in the withdrawal of South African forces from South-West Africa/Namibia. Posted alongside the road traffic route to the Republic, they checked convoys and containers for the tampering of seals. Railway lowbeds loaded with SADF equipment were also checked in this manner.

The last SADF convoy to leave South West Africa were military police rolling up the route from Windhoek to Upington. The convoy, comprising the last remaining personnel of 1 SWA Provost Unit and Northern Logistical Command Provost Unit, crossed the border on 29 June 1989 and were effectively the last South African soldiers to leave SWA.

1991

At the beginning of 1991, a total of approximately 500 MP's began training at the Provost School in the specialised role of border post personnel, a role similar to that of the Dutch "Koninklijke Marechaussee". These MP's were specifically trained in aspects such as Customs & Excise legislation, weapon and drug smuggling techniques, and drug detection dog handling with the intention that the MP's were to support the SA Police Force at border posts of the republic, and if necessary on their own. Despite successes that were made in the detection of smuggled weapons and drugs, the exercise was however short-lived when the MP's were withdrawn from the border posts at the end of 1992.

1994

1994 saw the integration of seven armed forces of the apartheid era South Africa into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on 27 April 1994. These forces were the so-called statutory forces, ie the SA Defence Force, the Transkei Defence Force, Ciskei Defence Force, Bophutatswana Defence Force, Venda Defence Force and the three non-statutory forces ie Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) of the African National Congress, the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (APLA) of the Pan African Congress and the Kwazulu Self Protection Force (KZSPF) of the Inkatha Freedom Party.

The integration led to great increase in the number of personnel within the SACMP and an increasing burden upon the Provost School to get training up to date

Soldiers from the Provost School were also the last SADF personnel to present an honour guard for newly appointed ambassodors at the Union Buildings . This parade was the last time where the old National Colours of the Provost School were paraded in the open.

The last parade for the old National Colours
Provost School colour party Provost School colour party with the National carried to the right of the party
Unit and National colours carried by the School RSM, WO1 C.P.J. Raubenheimer Unit and National colours
Unfurled Provost School colour Military Police motorcycle escort for European Union ambassador
Unit Colours unfurled Military Police motorcycle escort
The inaugeration of President Nelson Mandela at the Union Buildings in Pretoria saw a major contingent of Military Police from the SANDF involved in traffic duties and ceremonial motorcycle escorts, together with other SA security organisations.

1997

On 1 April 1997, 7 SA Division was restructured into a Division along classic lines with, in addition to divisional troop units, 73 Brigade, 74 Brigade (formerly 8 SA Division) and 75 Brigade (formerly 9 SA Division). The provost companies of the previous divisions, 7 Pro Coy, 8 Pro Coy and 9 Pro Coy, were combined into one unit and became known as 7 Provost Unit.

1998

In the early hours of 22 September 1998, a combined task force of troops from Botswana (BDF) and South Africa (SANDF) crossed the border to the Kingdom of Lesotho in order to assist the Lesotho government in regaining stability in that country. Together with the combat elements of the SA Development Community force was a platoon (minus) of military police detached from OFS Command Provost Unit. As part of Combined Task Force BOLEAS, and using MAMBA mine protected vehicles, the MP's were to provide a police service to the stabilising force. Despite the fact that the stabilising force was met with fierce resistance from members of the Royal Lesotho Defence Force and military police were involved in many of these skirmishes, no MP's were wounded or killed.

The value of military police was acknowledged when Lt Gen Deon Ferreira, SANDF Chief of Joint Operations, later stated in a press conference that more military police should have been in the task force.

SACMP escorting Royal Lesotho Defence Force mutineers - Photo from BEELD newspaper Mamba mine-protected vehicle SACMP guarding Royal Lesotho Defence Force mutineers - Photo from PRETORIA NEWS newspaper
On 21 October 1998 the South African Cabinet approved a Parliamentary White Paper on South African Participation in International Peace Missions. Paragraph 2.4 included the following section:

"Military police have appropriate training, experience and equipment to contribute significantly to peace support operations, especially where there may have been a breakdown in law and order. Military police units would work in close co-operation with the civil police component of the force, as well as the local police authorities. Because of the sensitive nature of such missions, military police would also focus on curtailing illegal activities or breaches of local law by members of the force."

1999

On 1 April 1999, Col Hoepfner Wiese, the Director Provost Services of the SA Army was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and appointed by the Chief of the SANDF, Genl Siphiwe Nyanda, as Director Military Police Services of the SANDF and as Chief of the Military Police Agency.

This made Brig Gen Wiese the "de facto" "Provost Marshal" of the SANDF. The establishment of the Military Police Agency on the same day brought the Military Police from each arm of service into one unit again and the re-establishment of centralised policy making and control of the military police within the SANDF.

The Military Police Agency consists of:
  • Military Police School - Previously Provost School.
  • Northern Military Police Region.
    • Thaba Tswane Base MP - previously Gauteng Comd Pro Unit.
    • AFB Waterkloof MP
    • Dequar MP. Serves Ministry of Defence General Support Base.
    • Tek Base MP
    • AFB Hoedspruit MP
    • AFB Louis Trichardt MP
    • Pietersburg Base MP - previously Far North Comd Pro Unit.
    • Middelburg Base MP
    • Wonderboom Base MP
  • Central Military Police Region.
    • Bloemfontein Base MP - previously OFS Comd Pro Unit.
    • Kroonstad Base MP
    • Durban Base MP - previously Natal Comd Pro Unit.
    • Port Elizabeth Base MP - previously EP Comd Pro Unit.
    • Umtata Base MP
  • Southern Military Police Region.
    • Youngsfield Base MP - previously WP Comd Pro Unit.
    • Naval Base Simonstown MP
    • CFS Langebaanweg MP
  • Western Military Police Region.
    • Potchefstroom Base MP - previously NW Comd Pro Unit.
    • Kimberley Base MP - previous NC Comd Pro Unit.
    • Lohatla Base MP - previously A Battle S Pro Unit.
  • 1 Provost Regiment.
    • 13 Provost Company (Regular Force)
    • 17 Provost Company (Reserve Force) - previously 7 Provost Company
    • 18 Provost Company (Reserve Force) - previously 8 Provost Company
    • 19 Provost Company (Reserve Force) - previously 9 Provost Company

7 SA Division was disbanded on the same day and 7 Provost Unit was transferred to the Military Police Agency. The unit was again split into three companies, the companies renamed and together with a new unit, namely 13 Provost Company, became part of 1 Provost Regiment.

2000

The Millenium is here?