Stay away from SANDF, Malema told

2012-09-14 21:00
Julius Malema (File, AP)

Julius Malema (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on Friday warned axed ANC Youth League president Julius Malema not to interfere in its affairs.

"The military command would like to caution Mr Malema or any other person not to interfere in the management of the SANDF... [We are] an institution where the highest standards of discipline are expected," said SANDF Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga in a statement.

The warning came after Malema met with around 60 soldiers at the Lenasia Recreation Centre in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

There he criticised the political leadership of the country and accused them of ignoring the needs of SANDF members, including not reinstating the hundreds of soldiers put on special leave for protesting at the Union Buildings in 2009.

Mabanga said on Thursday that the soldiers who met with Malema were the same "ill-disciplined" soldiers who had engaged in the illegal march.

He said the soldiers had initially been ordered to return to their home units and would now be charged with failing to obey that order.

He called for the SANDF to be excluded from political battles.

"It is the only institution that is the last line of defence and may not be used to promote or harm interests of any political party or organisation."

Mabanga said interference or disruptions to the SANDF were seen as a criminal offence.

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