Court stops dismissal of 600 soldiers

2012-12-10 14:34
(Picture, Sapa)

(Picture, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - A North Gauteng High Court ruling preventing the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) from firing about 600 soldiers was welcomed by the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) on Monday.

The ruling was handed down on Friday in Pretoria, Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff said in a statement.

The Sandu members were accused of disobeying a command to return to base, after participating in an illegal march on the Union Buildings in 2009.

Hundreds of them were initially placed on special leave, but they were apparently fired, without hearings, in October.

On 20 August, the Supreme Court of Appeal found that the SANDF had been unfair in not following correct dismissal processes, but upheld its right to maintain and manage a disciplined military force as required by the Constitution.

According to Greeff, notices appeared in two newspapers in November informing the soldiers that they had 10 days to motivate why they should not be dismissed. They also received registered letters conveying the same information. "The [North Gauteng] High Court on Friday found that the newspaper advertisements were unlawful and unconstitutional as was the subsequent notice sent to members."

The SANDF was not immediately available for comment.

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