Expensive booze piled up at General Shoke's farewell – Pieter Groenewald

FF Plus leader says this was grossly inappropriate, given SANDF budget cuts

Exorbitantly expensive alcohol served at farewell function for retired Defence Force Chief is scandalous

10 June 2021

The large amounts of exorbitantly expensive alcoholic drinks, including whiskey, that were reportedly served at the farewell function for the outgoing Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Gen. Solly Shoke, is scandalous and the questions it raised – like who paid for it? – must be answered.

It is ironic that money was squandered in this way while the Defence Force's budget was cut and Shoke himself warned with his retirement that the Defence Force will not be able to perform its constitutional duties with the reduction to its budget.

According to media reports, the function where select whiskey was piled high in pyramids on guests' tables recently took place at the army's support base in Bloemfontein.

The question that needs answering is who paid for the expensive alcohol? If the bill was footed by some or other personnel fund, it would mean that ordinary soldiers are the ones who were the main sponsors of this extravagance. They need to know what their money was used for.

The FF Plus will pose parliamentary questions about the matter to the Minister of Defence, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Gen. Shoke's legacy will now no longer be centred around what he achieved during his term as Chief of the Defence Force, but around the extravagant way in which he departed.

Issued by Pieter Groenewald, FF Plus leader, 10 June 2021