News24

SANDF fires 500 soldiers - union

2012-10-27 07:53

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"The question arises as to why the special leave of the members at the KZN probe was revoked, but not that of the remaining affected members."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

Comments
  • leonardo.newton.18 - 2012-10-27 08:18

    This has been long overdue. 3 years down the line still no decision has been taken yet while members are enjoying full benefits of their salaries without reporting to work. Suspension with full pay for three years. Something realy needs to be done as all these so called alleged members on suspension needs to know their fate, eviction or not.....

      John - 2012-10-27 09:43

      Look at the idiots in charge from the minister down to the defence chief, who do not have the faintest clue about PROCEDURE!

  • santoshmah - 2012-10-27 08:33

    What a bunch of idiots. God help us if we ever go to war.

      brett.michielin - 2012-10-27 08:37

      With over half our army HIV positive we should be alright. We can shag the invading army to death

  • brett.michielin - 2012-10-27 08:36

    I'm so over the effing ANC and their useless way of managing things. They really need to shine up.

  • blip.noodlum - 2012-10-27 08:49

    It's been bungled. They've been off work on full pay for 4 years and now they'll sue for unjustified dismissal and win double that wage on top of what they've been getting. And be reinstated, with promotion...

      mammudi.makgaleng.3 - 2012-10-27 10:55

      That's what l was wondering. Though am not surprised as this is the results of political positions. Giving a person without experience and understanding of the work environment a top position we will always have things like this. They even fail to apply labour act, should have suspended the officials and freeze their salaries.

  • eugene.muller.7 - 2012-10-27 09:01

    Clowns...dead weight.

  • mart.botha - 2012-10-27 09:06

    These aren't real soldiers, they are pretenders. Only real men can call themselves soldiers ....and real men have enough sense not to participate in illegal acts. A soldier who does not follow orders is generally no good to man or beast....make sure their asses remain 'dismissed with dishonour'.

      John - 2012-10-27 09:21

      What ILLEGAL act???

      Freddy Jile - 2014-09-13 11:58

      U know nothing about the army my friend,u are just a fool,moron

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-10-27 09:20

    This is the Justice system in our country. Great comments below.

  • andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-27 09:29

    I see another "platform" being "rolled out" for ANCYL's washed up prez coming up.

  • John - 2012-10-27 09:33

    The defence CHIEF needs to apply procedure! I suppose he will have to learn how to read first!

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-10-27 09:36

    If the chinese sent troops in our KFC Komrads would run away and it would be the whiteys who would end up defending the country. Or they'd go on strike for higher pay.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-27 09:51

    Just another screw up. Maybe we will have a coup.

      clivegoss - 2012-10-27 10:26

      These dickheads couldn't organise a piss up in an abandoned brewery. Coup ? too undiciplined, unorganised, untrained and just to bloody slapgat. Think they will bite the hand thaty feeds them ?

  • clivegoss - 2012-10-27 10:19

    The military is run and based on dicipline and loyalty. Union and other laggards should not even be allowed to join. Within the boundaries of any military establishment, military law applies. Civilians have no say, which is great and good for dicipline and esperit du core.

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