We will not get involved in 'petty party politics' - SANDF

Johannesburg - The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on Monday said it refused to get involved in petty party politics.

This followed calls by the members of the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) for lawful means to be used to remove President Jacob Zuma from office as it believed he was no longer fit to be the commander-in-chief of the defence force.

"The SANDF wants to confirm and assure all South Africans that it is in a non-partisan institution that is established and managed in accordance [with] the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as amended," Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said in a statement.

"The SANDF will remain above petty party politics..."

The SANDF also called on individuals and organisations, particularly the Sandu not to incite members of the defence force nor use members to advance or pursue their political ambitions.

It also called on them not to be "opportunistic and try to gain popularity" by using SANDF members.

"The SANDF will view such conducts as acts of provocation and that will not be tolerated."

The call from Sandu came after the Constitutional Court ruling on Thursday, which stated that Zuma had failed to "uphold, defend and respect the Constitution" when he did not adhere to the remedial actions called for by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

In a media statement posted to Facebook, Sandu national secretary JG Greeff said it was "absolutely despicable" that Zuma had transgressed the very Constitution that the SANDF was charged with upholding".

"Given the ruling made, the president can no longer be considered a fit and proper person to remain the commander-in-chief of the SANDF, nor can any of the parliamentary members who so stubbornly protected him in his questionable endeavours against the Public Protector’s findings, be considered fit and proper persons to hold office as members of Parliament."

Greeff said they called on the commander-in-chief to be removed from his post and for the relevant MPs to resign.

The ANC was holding an extended National Working Committee meeting in Cape Town on Monday.

When she arrived at the meeting, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, told reporters that Sandu's call call Zuma to be removed from office amounted to a coup.

"Whatever political crisis we have, we need a political solution. What it actually amounts to is a coup d’état. A coup will not be allowed in South Africa."

The National Assembly will debate a motion to remove Zuma from office on Tuesday.

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