Soldiers at several South African National Defence Force (SANDF) bases were apparently told to leave their bases and go home due to rations being depleted, according to the South African National Defence Union (SANDU), but food was subsequently delivered to them.
SANDU national secretary Pikkie Greeff presented a letter from Jacques van der Merwe Attorneys dated 29 November which stated that soldiers at 2 South African Infantry (SAI) Battalion, 4 SAI Battalion and 10 SAI Battalion were told to go home due to the ration shortage.
“Various SANDF members affected by this instruction are unable to comply as they do not have the financial means to travel long distances to their homes at this time of the month and are now stuck in their respective bases, without rations,” the attorneys letter states.
“It is further our instructions that the SANDF is legally obligated to provide the affected living in members with daily rations and that the SANDF’s failure to provide same is unlawful…in view of the above, we seek your undertaking, by 10:00 am on 30 November 2016, that the SANDF will provide the affected SANDF members with sufficient rations forthwith.
“Should you fail to provide such undertaking before 10h00 on 30 November 2016, we hold instructions to approach the High Court on an urgent basis for the appropriate relief where an appropriate costs order will be sought against you,” the letter concludes.
It was addressed to Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, SANDF Chief General Solly Shoke, Secretary for Defence Dr Sam Gulube, and the officers commanding 2, 4 and 10 SAI Battalions.
Greeff subsequently indicated on Twitter that food was delivered to the affected bases earlier today and that soldiers are eating once again.
At the time of publication, Department of Defence spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said he was aware of the reports and had enquiries out with the Army to determine if the bases had indeed run out of rations.