High Court gags soldiers

2009-09-01 22:18

Johannesburg - An interdict to stop soldiers from embarking on illegal marches and to prevent them from making "irresponsible remarks" was issued by the High Court in Pretoria late on Tuesday evening.

"It is clear both unions are condoning activities that seem to border on disrespect for authority and disobeying orders... and that is a dismissable offence," said ministry of defence and military veterans spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya.

The interdict was granted to the defence minister, the secretary of defence and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) against members of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) and South African Security Forces Unions' (Sasfu).

The department earlier said the SANDF was issuing up to 2 000 letters of dismissal to soldiers believed to have taken part in last week's protest at the Union Buildings which ended in chaos.

Union mobilising soldiers

It sought a legal remedy after the unions had reacted to the dismissals by allegedly encouraging their members not to accept the dismissal letters.

"We have been watching the comments made by Sandu... telling their members not to accept the disciplinary letters... a soldier who does not accept it is in disobeying a lawful order," Mabaya said.

"Most importantly in the barracks we are receiving information that Sandu is mobilising soldiers to disobey orders from commanders... and we received information that they are mobilising soldiers to protest again. We needed to stop that."

He added that it was a means of protecting soldiers themselves from losing their jobs.

"We thought it's very important to do that, if we don't, it puts a lot of soldiers at risk of losing their work... it is also in a sense protecting the soldiers from the irresponsible acts of Sandu."

10 days to respond

Mabaya said it was the largest number of soldiers the SANDF had intended firing at once. They had 10 days to respond to the letters of dismissal.

He rejected suggestions by defence unions that this process was unsound and that a military or magistrate's court was more appropriate.

"We are determined that this is the process," said Mabaya, in response to Sandu's and Sasfu's contention that it did not start from the point of a presumption of innocence.

Mabaya said the ministry had already proved that they were guilty.

"They stay in barracks, so we know who was in and who was out. We have a list of people who were not at work."

He said soldiers who may have come down with an illness on the day, or who had taken leave, would have been picked up through controls and in this way it was possible to work out who had participated.

Union wants to meet Sisulu

The dismissal letter asks for details of where the recipient was on August 26 - the day of the incident, said Pikkie Greeff, national secretary of Sandu, which intends applying for a court interdict to have the letters withdrawn.

Sasfu said it was urgently trying to secure a meeting with the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu to have the letters withdrawn and would also turn to the courts if this failed.

Deputy secretary general of the union Vincent Sibiya agreed with Sandu's stance, saying the letters were not covered by any policy in the army.

Meanwhile, the SA Council of Churches has arranged a meeting with Sisulu in Cape Town at 10:00 on Wednesday to help resolve the issue, following a meeting with Sandu earlier on Tuesday. Sasfu was invited but was unable to attend.

- SAPA

Read more on:    sandu  |  sasfu  |  sandf  |  lindiwe sisulu  |  high court in pretoria
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

DA wants to empower fishing communities - Zille

DA leader Helen Zille says the party has a plan for harbours and small-scale fishing communities.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. ...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.