No place for trade unions in the SANDF - David Maynier

DA MP says unions are undermining the chain of command

The Democratic Alliance (DA) believes that there is absolutely no place for military unions in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The effective functioning of the defence force depends on the chain of command, and military unions undermine the chain of command and therefore the effectiveness of the SANDF.

The legitimate problems of serving members of the defence force must be resolved by the defence force grievance system and within the chain of command of the SANDF.

Earlier this year president of the South African Security Forces Union (SASFU) Bheki Mvovo publicly called for Chief of the South African Navy Vice Admiral Refiloe Mudimu to be dismissed on the grounds that he had not paid allegiance to President Jacob Zuma.

And now we have members of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) trashing the Union Buildings. The violent clash between the police and military unions turned the Union Building into what looked like a war zone.

We therefore welcome Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu's commitment to take swift and effective disciplinary measures against members of Sandu who participated in the protest at the Union Buildings.

The DA however calls on the minister to go further and review relevant defence legislation and regulations with a view to limiting the scope of military unions and protest action by military unions within the defence force.

Statement issued by David Maynier, MP, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of defence and military veterans, August 27 2009

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