Military on ‘high alert’ over Malema

Military bases have been placed on high alert following news that Julius Malema is expected to meet with soldiers at a base south of Joburg, a report said.

According to the The Times today, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula issued a strongly worded statement which said, in part, that ill-discipline in the military was a direct threat to the country’s security.

Malema’s planned address has been slammed by the department as incitement.

Top security intelligence briefings, involving several government ministers, were held last night, the report stated.

Suspended ANC Youth League spokesperson Floyd Shivambu said in a statement: “The address is as a result of requests sent by the armed forces to Malema to come and listen to their cries and demands.”

“For a considerable amount of time now, South Africa’s important component of its defence force has been marginalised and threatened with dismissal whenever they raised concerns about conditions of work.”

Directives issued to base commanders

But defence ministry spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said all bases had been placed on “high alert” and directives were issued to base commanders and “certain steps are being taken”.

Mapisa-Nqakula is quoted as saying that with the SANDF being “the last line of defence of the sovereignty of the country”, the government cannot allow “anyone to play political football with this institution”.

The minister said any attempt to destabilise the military would be regarded as anti-South African and counter-revolutionary at the highest level.

She called on all members of the SANDF and the public to distance themselves from Malema’s actions.

Mapisa-Nqakula also said disciplinary action will be taken against any soldiers who participate in the meeting with Malema.
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