Army commander reposted

2012-10-13 00:00

THE commander designate of the Durban Light Infantry (DLI), who is being prosecuted because he reportedly wore a dead soldier’s medals, has been redeployed from this unit.

Lieutenant Colonel Amos Mbuyazi (42) confirmed that he had been redeployed by the SANDF: “I have been reposted to Pretoria. I am not sure what function I will be fulfilling there, but I will find out next week.”

The army said his redeployment did not amount to a dismissal, but was done to ensure that he did not interfere with any witnesses.

A parade to mark Mbuyazi’s new command at the DLI has also been cancelled. A caretaking commander has been appointed in his stead.

At a commanders conference in Bloemfontein this past week, Mbuyazi reportedly had to field many questions from his seniors to explain how the medals came to be on his uniform, as well as his reported statements to the media.

Beeld has meanwhile learned that a warning summons will be served on Mbuyazi on his alleged recruitment of soldiers to join a new political party in KwaZulu-Natal.

The recruitment allegedly happened at 121 SA Infantry Battalion in Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal, where Mbuyazi was stationed.

Yesterday, he laughed off allegations that he had recruited subordinates for a political party in KZN, describing them as “blatant lies”.

Mbuyazi said he had sought legal advice and planned to sue those who had muddied his reputation, including the media.

Another non-commissioned officer at DLI has meanwhile been warned that he would be prosecuted for the same recruitment attempts. Mbuyazi could not be warned while he was in Bloemfontein.

Military rules prohibit soldiers and officers from being involved with political activities.

Mbuyazi reportedly wore the medals of the late chaplain Patrick Montgomery, one of the DLI’s longest serving chaplains, in a parade in Pretoria in August.

Montgomery’s unique combination of medals was exhibited in a display case at the DLI, from where it was stolen earlier this year.

Several military charges have now been brought against Mbuyazi for wearing the medals.

He said the medals were planted on his tunic after someone allegedly tampered with it.

Mbuyazi alleged extra medals apart from his own were added to the tunic. Photos show that the medals he wore were an exact duplicate of the unique set Montgomery had earned.

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