Lindiwe Sisulu's statement on protesting soldiers

Minister of defence says full might of the law will be brought to bear

Minister Sisulu responds to acts of vandalism and threat to human life by members of South African National Defence Union (SANDU)

26 August 2009

Pretoria: The Minister of Defence condemns in the strongest terms possible the sheer acts of vandalism and the threat to human lives by members of the Military Union South African National Defence Union (SANDU). This represents the worse form of criminality in a democracy.

The union went ahead with a protest march with the full knowledge that this is an illegal march. The Minister had warned SANDU that the necessary permission was not obtained from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) or the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The Minister approached the High Court and was granted an interdict against the march. The soldiers were informed by their Commanders and the Office of the Minister that the march was illegal.

To the Minister's absolute dismay a group of soldiers represented by SANDU chose to break the law.

Within the Defence environment this lawlessness is a very serious breach of the nation's trust especially those charged with the protection of state security. The Chief of the SANDF has been asked to deal with this. The Minister has also asked the Minister of Police to act decisively and to ensure that the full might of the law is brought to bear. Anarchy and lawlessness has no place in the Defence Force.

Statement issued by the Department of Defence and Military Veterans, August 26 2009

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