Sisulu right to fire 'thugs'

THE Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu must be commended for taking firm and decisive action to deal with rampant and ill-disciplined members of the South African National Defence Force who took part in the illegal strike action last week.

THE Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu must be commended for taking firm and decisive action to deal with rampant and ill-disciplined members of the South African National Defence Force who took part in the illegal strike action last week.

No self-respecting military organisation anywhere in the world, least of all not the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF), in which the top leadership of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) served with pride, dignity and discipline, would tolerate the mutinous and despicable behaviour displayed by these unruly thugs.

All those ill-disciplined members of the national defence force who took part in the protest march, in total defiance of a court order, and violated both the military disciplinary code and the military code of conduct by which they pledged to abide at all times, should consider themselves privileged that they now live in a country where respect for human rights and the rule of law form the bedrock of the constitution of this country.

If the protests had happened in another country, such behaviour would have been met with summary dismissal or the firing squad.

Equally disgusting is the behaviour of Sandu, whose leadership instigated this violent behaviour.

This clearly exposes their sinister intentions when they decided not to serve in the newly formed formed national defence force, but chose instead to form Sandu in order to organise unwitting rank and file members of the army to ferment lawlessness and disrespect for the defence force's top brass under the pretext of fighting for their labour rights.

These are the same people who were deployed in South Africa's townships around the country in the early 1980s, to maim and kill the very same brothers and sisters of the majority of the members of Sandu.

These are also the same people who rebuffed progressive white members of our society who were opposed to apartheid and were actively involved in the struggle to recruit whites serving in the SADF to join the End Conscription campaign in order to weaken the apartheid death machine.

Integrating seven divergent and hostile formations into a single, united and disciplined SANDF was a painstaking and delicate exercise, which should never be allowed to be scuppered by a few disgruntled individuals who are still battling to come to terms with the new democratic dispensation in this country.

The sooner the minister flushes out the scum who are masquerading as soldiers in the National Defence Force, the better for the country.

Elijah Mahlangu, Midrand

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