A SA National Defence Force (SANDF) officer who used social media to launch a hate speech attack has apparently been given a verbal warning which an opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) MP believes falls far short of the mark as punishment.
Kobus Marais, the party’s shadow defence and military veterans minister, wants Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to intervene with “appropriate disciplinary processes” following the posting.
The officer, known only as Major Mohlala and attached to the SA Army Signals Formation at Wonderboom military base in Pretoria, apparently posted a response after a photograph of a badly beaten 80-year-old man was put on social media. The officer is allegedly to have written that the man’s attackers “should actually have poked out his eyes and tongue so that the last people he would ever see were the killers and he could go to his grave with the nightmare”.
He is also alleged to have written: “Apartheid is in him. All of these old white people think we are stupid when they say they were opposed to apartheid. We will not forget what they have done. Now it is the white people’s turn”.
In response Marais said there was “absolutely no justification for such hateful commentary by any South African” and given that the apparent offender is an officer in the SANDF the remarks are “simply unacceptable”.
“Apparently, Major Mohlala has only received a warning of future disciplinary action. This is simply not enough given the seriousness of his breach of non-racialism and respect for human dignity”, Marais said adding the Minister “must urgently initiate the appropriate disciplinary processes”. He will also be referring the matter to the SA Human Right Commission.
The Code of Conduct for uniformed members of the SANDF states, in part: “I will treat all people fairly and respect their rights and dignity at all times, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, language or sexual orientation”.