SANDF says union’s provocative act cannot be tolerated

THE South African National Defence Force (SANDF) described a military union’s call for President Jacob Zuma to be removed from office as an "act of provocation and that will not be tolerated".

A statement issued by Brig-Gen Xolani Mabanga said the SANDF "strongly condemns the statement issued by the national secretary of the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) over the weekend".

"The SANDF wants to confirm and assure all South Africans that it is in a nonpartisan institution that is established and managed in accordance to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa‚ 1996‚ as amended‚" Brig-Gen Mabanga said.

"The SANDF will remain above petty party politics and refused to be drawn into politics."

Sandu’s JG "Pikkie" Greeff had‚ on Friday‚ called for Mr Zuma to be removed as president and as commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces in the wake of last week’s Constitutional Court finding that he had violated the Constitution

"It is, in Sandu’s opinion, absolutely despicable that the president‚ as commander-in-chief of the SANDF‚ has transgressed the very Constitution which the defence force‚ over which he holds command‚ is constitutionally charged with upholding‚" Mr Greeff said.

"It is equally rejectionable that Parliament‚ which is charged with overseeing that the SANDF upholds the Constitution‚ has aided and abetted the president in this unlawful deed which represents a complete sellout of the values of a constitutional democracy."

In response‚ Brig-Gen Mabanga said the SANDF "calls on individuals and/or organisations‚ and Sandu in particular"‚ not to:

• "Incite members of the SANDF;

• "Use members of the SANDF to advance or pursue their political ambitions; and

• "Be opportunistic and try to gain popularity by using members of the SANDF."

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