Sacking soldiers will hurt country

I AM tempted to join the chorus of those condemning the despicable actions of the protesting soldiers in the strongest terms possible.

As a young democracy we cannot afford scenes that threaten our internal security.

The safety of any country and its people rests primarily with the defence force. When the defence force is in a state of anarchy the safety and security of the whole country is in disarray.

In fact, the country could be taken advantage of by all sorts of criminals.

In a worst case scenario the country could become exposed and vulnerable to enemy attacks.

What could have made the soldiers act so irresponsibly and nastily? The possibility of a long-standing, underlying salary dispute between the defence department and the soldiers cannot be ruled out.

Something must have pushed the soldiers over the edge.

Whatever it is, both parties must sort it out for the sake of internal safety and security. Personal egos should be set aside and an emergency meeting should be held to iron out differences between the two parties.

Coercion, intimidation and threats will not solve the problem.

The expulsion of soldiers is not an option for a number of reasons. Axed soldiers will swell the ranks of the unemployed; they might aggravate the ATM bombings and other organised crime alleged to be carried out by ex-guerillas, and more money would be needed to train additional replacement soldiers.

Steven Sibuyi, Hazyview