SANDF fires 500 soldiers - union

2012-10-27 07:53
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The SANDF has dismissed 500 soldiers placed on special leave following their participation in an illegal march in 2009, their union said on Friday.

SANDF chief Lieutenant General Vusumuzi Masondo needed to explain how it was possible that a decision to dismiss soldiers was taken without first subjecting them to disciplinary processes, SA National Defence Union national secretary Pikkie Greeff said.

The defence force's spokesperson Xolani Mabanga could not immediately confirm Sandu's statement.

"I cannot confirm that they were dismissed, however what I do know is that we are in the process of taking disciplinary measures against those who disobeyed the instructions to return to their home bases," Mabanga said.

In August, the Supreme Court of Appeal found the dismissal, without a hearing, of 650 soldiers involved in an illegal march on the Union Buildings in 2009 was unlawful.

Only 296 of those charged had been subjected to a probe, in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal. Due to a lack of evidence against them they were recalled to duty and their special leave was cancelled.

Greef said the balance of members on special leave were not charged and, until their dismissal on Friday, remained at home.

"The question arises as to why the special leave of the members at the KZN probe was revoked, but not that of the remaining affected members."

Greeff said hundreds of soldiers reported to their bases this week to enquire about the cancellation of their special leave, but had been told to stay at home.

"If the basis for such dismissals is the failure of affected members to report for duty, then Sandu challenges Masondo to produce evidence of any such recalls," he said.

"If such proof exists, he must explain why the members were not afforded an opportunity in due process of law to be notified of their recall and a chance to explain their alleged failure to return to duty."

Mabanga conceded that on 20 August, the Supreme Court of Appeal found the SANDF had been unfair by not following correct dismissal processes.

However, in the judgment, the court stated that the SANDF had the right to maintain and manage a disciplined military force as required by the Constitution.

"As a result, the SANDF issued instructions to those soldiers to report to their home units for arraignment. Some responded positively to that instruction and some deliberately ignored it," Mabanga said.

"If they disobeyed the instruction, according to the policies and administrative rules, they would then face disciplinary measures, one of which could be discharge."

While Sandu maintained its members did not receive instructions to report to their home bases, Mabanga said the SANDF was mindful of individuals and organisations misleading people for their personal gain.

Read more on:    sandu  |  sandf  |  military

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

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


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 network.


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.