Union resists order for soldier recall

2012-08-14 21:50
SANDF soldiers (File, Sapa)

SANDF soldiers (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Military labour union Sandu is resisting a general recall of soldiers put on special leave after an illegal protest at the Union Buildings in 2009.

"We have advised our members not to heed the media announcement," SA National Defence Union (Sandu) national secretary JG Greeff said on Tuesday.

"It [the announcement] seems to contradict the only existing order known and served on special leave members."

He said Sandu members affected would only to return to their units if each of them received a written instruction to do so.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) ordered the soldiers back to their home units on Monday.

Greeff said the matter was still pending before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The SANDF announcement, he said, bypassed Sandu's mandate to represent the soldiers.

"The defence corporate communication section of the SANDF seems to be under the misapprehension that the military chain of command could be conducted through the media."

Greeff said any action against members would be opposed, including with legal action.

Defence spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

He said on Monday that all soldiers put on special leave following the protest on 26 August 2009 had to report back to their home units by 8am on Thursday. T

he purpose of the order was for the suspended soldiers to be informed of the outcome of disciplinary procedures.

"This directive does not replace the instruction placing the members on special leave," said Mabanga.

A wage protest by around 1 000 soldiers descended into chaos when the group tried to enter the perimeter of the Union Buildings.

Police used rubber bullets and teargas to disperse the crowd who taunted police, threw a petrol bomb into a car, and vandalised others.

- SAPA
Read more on:    sandu  |  sandf  |  military
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