Statement by SA National Defence Force Chief General Solly Shoke – The matter concerning SANDF members who marched to the Union Buildings in August 2009


“As Chief of the SANDF I have a constitutional obligation to the people of South Africa to ensure that the SANDF is structured and managed as a disciplined force.

“As we are all aware that of August 26, 2009, some members of the defence force embarked on an illegal march despite the City of Tshwane withdrawing their permission to march. What ensued thereafter can be best described as chaotic, members engaged in running battles with the SAPS and this was broadcasted nationally and internationally. The defence force had to act quickly and swiftly against members who had transgressed.
“The affected defence force members were issued with notices of intended provisional dismissal and subsequently they were placed on special leave.
“The administrative processes that the SANDF instituted against these members were challenged through external courts and interdicts. As a result this matter has dragged on and on for too long.
“As a matter of background there were three categories of affected members.
“The first were members who made representations in 2009 and as a result of these they were recalled to resume their duties.
“The second were members who adhered to CSANDF instruction of 2012 to report back to their units or bases for the military disciplinary processes to take place. These members were subjected to the military disciplinary process which has been concluded and the members have resumed their duties.
“The third category is members who disobeyed CSANDF instruction of 2012 by not returning to their units or bases.
“This press conference will address the third category of members.
“The defence force is uncomfortable with continuing to pay members who are simply sitting at their homes. For that reason, the Military Command and with legal advice, has decided the members of special leave must be recalled. This will be done according to terms and conditions as provided for in the Defence Act 42 of 2002 and other applicable policy documents.
“Once more, members will be instructed individually as to when and where they will be required to report.”