Army recruits seek treatment after punishment

The SANDF is investigating alleged excessive punishment of recruits in Oudtshoorn.

The SANDF is investigating alleged excessive punishment of army recruits in Oudtshoorn.

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Tuesday said a board of inquiry was investigating a training session aimed at punishing recruits at the Oudtshoorn army base.

Last Thursday five army recruits, dressed in full uniform, sneaked out of the base and visited a nearby bar without authorisation.

The SANDF said the recruits were then punished by being put through physical training.

It is alleged some needed medical treatment.

The South African National Defence Union (Sandu) claims 11 and not five recruits were involved in last week's painful and humiliating training session.

However, the defence force's Xolani Mbanga said that was not true.

He said Oudtshoorn army base management are allowed to subject recruits, who have broken the rules, to a punitive physical training exercise.

Mbanga said they were not aware of any of the five recruits seeking medical help after the session.

"To our knowledge there was nothing that was excessive, but should it be found that something illegal was done, measures will be taken against those responsible."

A SANDF board of inquiry is currently looking into the matter.