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'Death or integration' - outlaw army

By unknown | Oct 03, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mhlaba Memela and Canaan Mdletshe

Mhlaba Memela and Canaan Mdletshe

Outlaw soldiers, who are members of the South African Un-integrated Forces (SAUF), have called on ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma to intervene and help integrate them into the SANDF.

Yesterday, reports that security forces were to band together to turf out the renegade soldiers from their training camp on tribal land did not materialise.

The more than 200 SAUF soldiers have been camping in a bush outside Eshowe for more than a year.

They made headlines last year when they invaded a Leeukop Farm in northern Zululand. They claimed they were on their way to Mozambique and Swaziland for military training.

The soldiers - both men and women - are leftovers mainly from the defunct IFP self-protection units.

Yesterday, when Sowetan visited the soldiers at their new base on the tribal-owned land, they were, as usual, busy with their base training.

Group leader Zenzele Sishi said they would not leave until they are accepted within the ranks of the SANDF.

They were also prepared to be "arrested or killed" in their quest to be accepted as soldiers in the national army.

"Our hopes now rest in the hands of Zuma. He is the only person who can help us in our quest to get what we want.

"We will not leave this place. Whether we are arrested or killed, we will still demand integration into the armed forces".

Sishi said the group was disillusioned with the provincial leadership of the ANC which has allegedly ignored their plight for more than eight months.

The group "dumped the IFP" to join the ANC in the hope that their request for integration would be successful.

"We joined the ANC after meeting with Bheki Cele, the MEC for community safety and liaison.

"He promised us that if we joined them, they would take us in and help us.

"We all joined the ANC, but nothing good has come out of that," said Sishi.


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