Good system abused

Employees suspended by their bosses under suspicion of having committed certain acts contrary to their conditions of employment ordinarily expect their cases to be concluded speedily.

After all, their right to speedy and fair justice ought not to be compromised by unnecessary delays - except in circumstances that are beyond the control of all parties involved.

Suspensions allow the investigation process leading to the formulation of charges to proceed without hindrance or interference from the respondents.

So it is shocking that this system is being abused by the South African National Defence Force management, resulting in employees being suspended for lengthy periods - with full pay.

As we reported in this newspaper last week, 42 SANDF members are at present on suspension at a cost of nearly R11 million.

Some of them have been on suspension for six years.

This is outrageous.

Such lengthy suspensions suggest that SANDF management may have no case against the employees concerned.

Arising from this debacle is the question whether management has the capacity to conduct fair and proper disciplinary procedures. Indications suggest otherwise.

This situation cannot go unchecked. Either the army charges the suspended workers as a matter or urgency - or reinstates them.

Whoever is responsible for this whole mess must face the music.