'Don't let citizens disrespect you,' SANDF chief tells army personnel

SA Army chief General Solly Shoke in Pretoria after giving his forces an official send off.
SA Army chief General Solly Shoke in Pretoria after giving his forces an official send off.
Image: Isaac Mahlangu

SA army chief Gen Solly Shoke told his forces to go out to protect lives and follow the law, but emphasised that they should not allow to be disrespected. 

Choke was officially giving army personnel their send-off in Pretoria on Wednesday morning, more than a week after they have been deployed to help enforce the national lockdown regulations. 

Shoke said "no individual human right" is more important that saving lives of the majority of South Africans. 

He told the soldiers not to allow people "to test their patience".

"We shouldn't allow people to test the patience of our soldiers because nani nizalwa umfazi siyafana (we are all the same), you're human beings, you deserve to be respected," Shoke said. 

He added: "There are some who speak about human rights... but human life is more important than any individual human rights." 

Shoke said the army was the last line of defence in the country and that line shouldn't be undermined. 

"A citizen takes a beer an pour it at a soldier and expect that soldier not to react, that's undermining authority to the best, that one we are not going to tolerate it. Soze sivumele abantu ukuthi badelelane (we are not going to allow people to be disrespectful). 

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