Court orders arrest of SANDF leaders

2014-07-02 08:52

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The high court in Pretoria has ordered the arrest of three leading SA National Defence Force officers, a trade union said.

Chief of the defence force General Solly Shoke, chief of the air force Lieutenant-General Zakes Zimpande Msimang, and defence and military veterans’ secretary Sam Gulube are wanted for contempt of court, said SA National Defence Union (Sandu) secretary-general Pikkie Greeff yesterday.

“The fact of the matter is that the three are in contempt of a court order which ordered them to re-employ four soldiers dismissed two years ago,” Greeff said.

The four soldiers’ contracts were terminated in 2012 although there were 32 vacancies in the defence force at the time.

With Sandu’s help, the soldiers fought the matter in court and an order was granted that they be reinstated last month. The group had not been re-employed.

“Now the court has ordered the sheriff of Pretoria to make arrests within 24 hours,” said Greeff.

In response, SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga said: “The SANDF would once again like to register its concerns regarding the conduct and tendency of Mr Pikkie Greeff working for, or on behalf of. Sandu to mislead the people of South Africa.

“The SANDF is shocked but not surprised that this behaviour and tendency of Mr Pikkie Greeff has found its way to the courts.”

Mabanga said the SANDF was aware of the court order to reinstate the members concerned which was handed down on September 10 2013.

However, he explained that subsequent to the SANDF not reinstating the affected members, a provisional order was granted for the SANDF to appear before court on July 22 to explain why it had not complied.

But on June 23, Sandu lodged an application for a contempt of court order which was granted yesterday.

“The senior counsel acting on behalf of the SANDF will be urgently approaching court for the stay of execution of the order that was granted today for the arrest of senior officials mentioned in the court order,” he said.

Mabanga called on Greeff to stop misleading the public about SANDF affairs and portraying himself as the most patriotic person in the country who could speak for the interests of SANDF members.

“The SANDF is still wondering why Mr Pikkie Greeff does not tell the people of South Africa why he left the SANDF, if it was not to engage in matters aimed at discrediting or destabilising the SANDF or to undermine gains and achievements made by the SANDF post-1994,” said Mabanga.

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