SA soldiers repatriated from DRC head to court

The soldiers allegedly abandoned their posts while on a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A group of soldiers recently repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have taken to the courts to fight a plan by the military to discharge them.

Thirty-four members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) from several bases throughout the country were recently informed by the defence minister of their impending release from their duties for allegedly breaching the army's trust.

This relates to them allegedly abandoning their posts while on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC in September, but the South African National Defence Union claims the members were not meant to be on duty on the day in question.

The unions's Pikkie Greeff said, "These members were given until 5 April to submit presentations as to why they should not be dismissed from the SANDF."

Greeff added that they are taking the matter to court.

"The union is currently representing them and we have indeed yesterday issued a High Court application to prevent this particular process from going ahead until such time a court orders that a fair hearing must be conducted."