SANDF expresses concern over unauthorised use of camouflage

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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has voiced concerns over the illicit use of SANDF camouflage material after the surfacing of a viral video on social media depicting an individual sewing and altering SANDF camouflage fabric.

The SANDF in a statement made it clear that the individual in the video is not authorised to possess or manipulate SA National Defence Force ‘patented’ material. Furthermore, this person holds no affiliation with the SANDF in any capacity, Department of Defence Head of Communication Siphiwe Dlamini stated.

“The SANDF condemns in a strongest form anyone in possession of Defence Force material and shall use its powers to arrest a person and confiscate materials in that person’s possession. Those found in possession of a registered SANDF artefact shall be arrested and charged as per the Defence Act 42 of 2002,” the statement said. They face a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

It is imperative for members of the public, including clothing manufacturers and fabric producers, to refrain from utilising, selling, or repurposing any SANDF materials, particularly camouflage, without proper registration and authorisation, the SANDF stated.

This recent announcement by the SANDF echoes earlier concerns related to the misuse of military uniforms. Notably, a social media post in September 2022 showcased an individual wearing a full SANDF uniform while promoting a birthday event in the Vaal Triangle.

The SANDF has previously responded to instances of uniform misuse, including the unauthorised use of official military work dress in a television drama in 2020. In all cases, the SANDF emphasises that individuals found illegally wearing any of its uniforms or using its camouflage patterns are liable to face legal consequences, including fines or imprisonment.

While recent years have witnessed instances of unauthorised use of SANDF uniforms and materials, there have been no recent reports of convictions or fines imposed on those engaging in these activities.

The SANDF is rolling out a new camouflage pattern that was developed partly in response to the widespread unauthorised use of its current work dress.