Warrant of arrest against soldiers

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

A warrant of arrest has been issued against three members of the South African National Defence Force who were arrested in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg, in November for traffic disturbance.

The three soldiers failed to appear in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday.

At least 76 soldiers were arrested last year and charged with illegal gathering and violation of the Traffic Act.

The other 73 members were in court yesterday and the case was postponed to February 4 for further investigation.

About 230 soldiers were walking along the N12 highway from their barracks in Lenasia to their camp in Doornkop in Soweto when they were arrested by the military police.

They were taken to Johannesburg Central police station and released the same day.

"The reason they walked on the highway was that the department had failed to provide them with transport," said the South African National Defence Union chief negotiator Jeff Dubazana.

He said the department had ignored a court order that soldiers should be provided with transport from the barracks to the camp.

He said the police's action had appalled him.

"The traffic police stopped the soldiers and told them to walk on one side of the road," he said. " But on arrival at Doornkop the police arrested them."

Dubazana said the union had called onDefence Minister Charles Nqakula to intervene.