Introduction
to the
SA Corps of Military Police


Welcome to this introduction about the South African Corps of Military Police.

The South African Corps of Military Police, as part of the SANDF Military Police Agency, is a law enforcement organisation just like the South African Police Service.

They, together with Military Police from the SA Air Force and the SA Navy, need the support of the military and civilian communities of South Africa to help them wage the war against crime which transcends community borders. If YOU have information
  • concerning a crime committed against the SA National Defence Force,
  • one which may have been committed by a member of the SANDF, or
  • one committed by anyone against a member of the SANDF,
you can provide that information in confidence by clicking here to send your information.


"You cannot have a good army without a police force within."
Napoleon Bonaparte.

BACKGROUND

The SA Corps of Military Police is a corps of the SA Army, but as an integral part of the Military Police Agency, it provides a service to the SA National Defence Force as a whole, but to the SA Army in particular, especially during operational or war conditions. The SA Army is responsible to win the landward battle by the use of its combat forces, but no battle can be won without the full use of its supporting corps. This is mobile warfare and the more movement there is, the control required of the personnel, vehicles and equipment becomes even more essential.

OLIFANT TankThe SACMP provides such support and is therefore a support corps. This is performed by means of its functional duties and the specialist equipment it has at its disposal. In the fast developing modern world, more accent is placed on the mobility of forces and the element of surprise. The foot soldier and the cavalryman of the past now fight from RATEL infantry combat vehicles and OLIFANT tanks. The military policeman's horse has likewise been replaced by motorcycles and MAMBA mine-protected vehicles.

RATEL Infantry Fighting Vehicle Traffic control is one of the most important functions of the SACMP, under operational or war conditions. Thereafter follow policing tasks, disciplinary tasks, the management of detention barracks and the provision of general duties (escort duties of VIP's and other tasks). During peacetime circumstance, policing the SANDF increases in priority, with traffic control decreasing in priority.





The tasks of the SACMP are people orientated and it is necessary for a military policeman to conform to a certain profile. It is undoubtedly often necessary for the MP to perform unpleasant tasks, such as the investigation of crime and irregularities and the apprehension of offenders. No military policeman must suffer from a prosecution mania, but must always be on the lookout to prevent crime. He must keep with the facts of a case and leave the prosecution of a case to legally trained professionals. A military policeman is a special person who must have specific qualities, for which he has been selected and specially trained. The modern military policeman must have a disciplined life pattern and an irreproachable character which can act as an example to be followed - for this reason the motto of the SACMP is "SEMPER SOLIDUM"; - Always Steadfast.

Training and knowledge of his subject is important, but in order to perform his difficult tasks, even when under great stress and under difficult circumstances, it is important that he is part of a team. Knowledge is also born of experience and it lucky that the Second World War provided the SACMP with inter-action with other military police forces. The military policeman must be proud of his profession and of his corps.



It is surprising how few people know what the role of the military policeman is. Sgt Perkins of the 198th MP Battalion, Kentucky Army National Guard, described the role of the US Army Military Police Corps as follows:




SUPPORTING THE THREE

"I am the Infantry, follow me
Not a foot soldier, we're much more you see
We'll take the fight to the enemy
I am the Infantry, first of THE THREE"

"I am the Cavalry, follow me
A Modern horse soldier in an APC
Charging straight forward to the enemy
I am the Cav, most daring of THE THREE"

"I am the armour, follow me
The arm of decision I'll always be
When the going gets rough, call on me
I am Armour, the best of THE THREE"

"Armour, Cav and Infantry
Rush headlong into the melee
Breaking the lines like an angry sea
Deep into enemy territory"

"Approaching a cross-roads, what do we see
The area secured by two lonely MP's
Directing us forward, how can this be
How long has he been here waiting for me"

"What a crazy person an MP must be
He has no firepower or armour like me
And I thought everyone followed THE THREE
Armour, Cav and Infantry"

"I am the MP, don't follow me
You don't want to be where I will be
Guarding a crossroad, waiting for THE THREE
Just my partner, a sixteen, a sixty and me"

"With the objective taken, wait and see
No one will remember the lonely MP
Who held this ground so they could run free
But that's my job, supporting THE THREE"