SANDF warns against illegal use of camo uniform – again

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The national defence force, in the form of its senior spokesman Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, has come out strongly about what it calls the “unabated illegal use” of military combat dress, better known as camouflage.

What sparked the latest statement, released this week, was an actor wearing “an SANDF camouflage uniform during the screening of Gug’ Othandayo on Channel 157 Moja Love on DSTV on Sunday, 20 October 2019”. This, according to the statement, is a subject of “immeasurable concern” to the South African military.

In his statement the one-star general notes the “person” illegally wearing the SANDF camo “is not a member of the SANDF and not authorised to use the patented camouflage uniform nor was he representing the interest of the SANDF in any way, shape or form”.

He further notes: “The SANDF is gravely concerned by the unabated illegal use of the SANDF combat dress (camouflage)”.

The SANDF has on a number of occasions previously warned that civilians wearing uniform, especially the camouflage battledress in almost daily use by the majority of SA Army personnel, are guilty of an offence in terms of the Defence Act. If found guilty, a fine or “imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years” can be imposed, according to the Act.

Channel 157 Moja Love is, according to Wikipedia, a South African digital satellite television general entertainment channel. “It is a female-skewed channel geared towards content that showcases various forms of love”.

Elaborating on who can legally wear the various official SANDF uniforms, Mgobozi said they are “solely for use by authorised members of the SANDF or those members identified by the Chief of the SANDF and appointed as honorary members of various SANDF units and/or bases”.

He urged the public as well as “the local, regional and international film and entertainment industry including independent producers and production houses to refrain from using, displaying and/or allowing their artists and actors to use the SANDF camouflage”.

Mgobozi’s statement ends with the national defence force “further reiterating that wearing the SANDF uniform when not an SANDF member is a punishable offense (sic) and anyone found using the SANDF camouflage uniform will be prosecuted”.