SANDU under fire over arrest warrants

The union's decision to secure arrest warrants for the military's top brass has been questioned.

FILE: The chiefs of the SANDF and air force and the secretary of defence were issued arrest warrants yesterday for being in contempt of court. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Defence Union (SANDU) has come under fire after securing warrants of arrest for the military's top brass with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) questioning its intentions and the union being accused of political grandstanding.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria yesterday ordered the arrests of the chiefs of the SANDF, South African Air Force (SAAF) and the Secretary of Defence for contempt of court after failing to comply with a previous order to reinstate four SAAF employees.

SANDU national secretary Pikkie Greeff said the workers were on fixed-term contracts.

"At the end of the contracts there were open posts and they qualified for the posts but their contracts weren't renewed. The court then ordered the defence force to reinstate them."

He added the SANDF didn't respond to its attempts to find out why the order was ignored.

But the SANDF says it had already secured a date to explain its non-compliance in court and the union was aware of this.

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga says it's unclear why the defence union chose to apply for arrest warrants.

"I don't know what their intention was or why they did that."

Defence analyst Helmoed Heitman says the union must be aware that its highly unlikely top brass officials will in fact be arrested.

"To me it's silly, it's grandstanding. They don't take those decisions so it's being silly."

The SANDF says it's consulting with its lawyers on the court order and how to proceed.

To view the court order _ click here._