SANDF Legal Services comes second – again – in ongoing Union Buildings protest litigation
The legal services division of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has been given yet another bloody nose by Sandu (SA National Defence Union) in the ongoing saga around the 2009 Union Buildings protest. A disciplinary tribunal earlier this week ruled in favour of the military trade union, finding that the SANDF does not have the right to attempt to hold disciplinary hearings outside the military justice system. This, Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff said, was a clear pointer that, had the military justice system been applied properly at the outset, the “whole matter would long ago have been put to rest”. “Instead the SANDF took poor legal advice and lost twice in the Supreme Court of Appeal when it, on both occasions, attempted to fire soldiers without a hearing.” This week’s tribunal was presided over by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo and was an attempt to subject soldiers to a disciplinary hearing “similar to that found in the civilian world”.