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Army seeks legal counsel after Malema visit

SANDF is seeking legal advice to prevent Julius Malema’s talk from setting any dangerous precedents.

Expelled ANC Youth league president Julius Malema is seen with Floyd Shivambu at the Lenasia Recreational Centre in southern Johannesburg on Wednesday, 12 September 2012 where they arrived to listen to the grievances of soldiers. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is seeking legal advice on Julius Malema's address to soldiers, to prevent it from setting any dangerous precedents.

The expelled ANC Youth League (ANCYL) leader on Wednesday spoke to a small group of off-duty or suspended soldiers at the Lenasia Recreation Centre in the south of Johannesburg.

There were fears his address would put national security at risk, and Malema was slammed as a "counter-revolutionary" by the defence minister.

Now defence spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga says the army is exploring the legal aspect of what happened.

"When people volunteer to join the [SANDF], I think they also volunteer to compromise and sacrifice some of their [constitutional] rights."

Mabanga said anything but strict order within the armed forces would lead to anarchy.

DEFENCE VERSUS MALEMA

On Tuesday evening, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula issued a strong worded statement warning on-duty soldiers not to attend the meeting.

"Any member who does so without proper permission will be subjected to the disciplinary code of the SANDF. The compromise of discipline within the SANDF is a threat to the security of our country and all our people."

She said she was aware of Malema's plans to make mines ungovernable, and said the army could not afford to let him risk national security.

On his tour of Gauteng and North West mines, Malema has vowed to make South Africa's mining industry 'ungovernable' and has encouraged mineworkers not to clock-in until their wage demands have been met.

Three mines in Gauteng and the North West have been brought to a complete standstill by miners - two of which downed tools after a visit from the fiery leader and his former ANCYL colleagues.

MALEMA ADDRESSES SOLDIERS

Malema told soldiers on Wednesday that factional battles in the ANC were undermining the rights of workers.

He said civil servants suffered the most when it came to salary negotiations.

After much buildup around his visit, less than 100 people showed up to hear him speak.

Soldiers told the ANC renegade that they were concerned about the deployment of ANC cadres to top structures in the army and disciplinary matters within the Defence Ministry.

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