The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has started preliminary investigations to gather evidence related to charges against members who participated in an illegal march to the Union Buildings in August 2009.
The SANDF on Friday said it commended the members who reported for the Preliminary Investigation following an instruction of the Chief of the South African National Defence Force (C SANDF).
In July the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she would charge the 1 300 soldiers that marched on the Union Buildings in 2009 under the military court system.
“The Preliminary Investigations are proceeding positively and credit is given to all the SANDF members who are involved in the process as well as personnel outside the SANDF whose support and co-operation contribute to the smooth running of the process,” the Department of Defence said. “On the same note, the SANDF condemns actions by individuals or organisations who were trying to derail the process and incite members of the SANDF.”
“The SANDF also regrets that it is left with no option other than to take harsh disciplinary measures against the members of the SANDF placed on special leave who have defied the C SANDF instruction to report back to their home units. Despite all efforts to call the members to report to their mother units, these members continued to disobey the instruction.”
In August 2009, soldiers in the SANDF illegally marched on the Union Buildings in defiance of two military orders and a court order. They tried to climb the fence surrounding the government complex during their protest to demand better salaries. Police used water cannon, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the soldiers after the march turned violent.