Sisulu sticks to firing her guns

CAPE TOWN.Lindiwe Sisulu (R), Thoko Didiza and Zola Skweyiya adress briefings.Pic:Trevor Samson. © BUSINESS DAY
CAPE TOWN.Lindiwe Sisulu (R), Thoko Didiza and Zola Skweyiya adress briefings.Pic:Trevor Samson. © BUSINESS DAY

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu says she won't back down on her decision - supported by President Jacob Zuma - to fire 1300 soldiers involved in the extraordinary military protest at the Union Buildings last week.

"The decisions that we have taken were canvassed with the whole of Cabinet and agreed to by the highest level" Sisulu told a media briefing at Parliament yesterday, following her meeting with a heavyweight delegation from the South African Council of Churches.

But the Defence Minister could be in hot water with her own party.

A source revealed to Sowetan that the ANC parliamentary study group on defence agreed yesterday that dismissing the SANDF members "was not the way to go".

Sisulu will also be under pressure to retract the dismissals when she meets with Cosatu leaders today.

The union federation last week criticised the police for opening fire on the soldiers and wants the soldiers to be reinstated.

Although Sisulu said last week that she was suspending the protestors without pay, secretary of Defence Tsepe Motumi confirmed that the soldiers would still receive their pay until their dismissals were final.

The soldiers have been given until September 10 to provide the ministry with reasons why they should not be permanently fired from the defence force.

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