News24

No pickets at military base - SANDF

2012-09-20 22:22

Johannesburg - The military has denied that SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members picketed at the Oudtshoorn Military Base on Wednesday.

"Those are lies. Our members were on duty doing their routine shifts," Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said on Thursday.

Mabanga was reacting to comments by the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) that it held a peaceful picket on Wednesday over conditions at the base.

"This is just a ploy by a group of desperate people trying to get attention...

"They are just misleading people to believe that the SANDF members at Infantry School are not happy. Their intention is to make the public believe that there are problems at Infantry School."

Mabanga accused Sandu of bussing non-employees to the base to hold demonstrations.

On Wednesday, Sandu spokesperson Pikkie Greeff said its picket was over "dire management practices" taking place at the base.

In a statement, he claimed there had been no investigation into recent deaths at the base, or if they had been investigated, the results had not been made public.

In August, a woman recruit committed suicide at the base. At the time Sandu claimed the suicide note made reference to humiliation by base management.

Greeff claimed the organisers of the picket were threatened with military arrest. He could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.