News24

Soldiers get dismissal notice

2009-08-31 22:07

Johannesburg - A total of 460 soldiers were instructed to vacate their work premises in dismissal letters sent to them on Monday, a union said.

"We can confirm that some soldiers have received letters to terminate their services," the SA National Defence Union's legal adviser Michael Thekiso said.

"They have 10 days to motivate to the minister on why they should not be dismissed. It is only final after 10 days."

The move by the defence ministry came after an illegal protest by about 1 500 to 2 000 soldiers at the Union Buildings last Wednesday.

May approach High Court

Thekiso said soldiers had to provide proof of where they were on the day of the protest.

"It's a mockery. Giving reasons as to why they don't need to be dismissed is a despicable action. We may just need to approach the High Court on this matter."

In a protest over poor salaries and working conditions the soldiers refused to leave the lawn of the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Police fired rubber bullets and teargas at them when they tried to climb over the fence into the property.

A policeman and several soldiers were injured and several police and military vehicles damaged.

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu called the soldiers' behaviour "disgraceful" and "unbecoming" and said they had placed the nation in danger.

The ministry was not immediately available for comment.