Recalled soldiers may face disciplinary action

Sandu says the soldiers have been on special leave since 2009, at a salary bill of about R7m a month.

FILE: The soldiers were suspended after a protest at the Union Buildings which led to clashes with the police. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - While the South African National Defence Force (Sandf) chief Solly Shoke, has recalled to duty about 500 soldiers who've been on special leave since 2009, he has not ruled out the possibility of further attempts to discipline them.

The soldiers were suspended after a protest at the Union Buildings which led to clashes with the police.

Attempts to dismiss and discipline the soldiers have been thwarted on several occasions by the South African National Defence Union (Sandu), whose court action deemed the Sandf's conduct unlawful.

Shoke says the main reason for the recall to duty was because he was uncomfortable with continuing to pay the salaries of members who are sitting at home.

But he wouldn't be drawn on whether or not the members face further sanction.

"The purpose is I don't want to pay people who are sitting at home doing nothing but I can't rule anything out. In military one plus one is not always two, it can be 11."

Sandu says the soldiers have been at home for the past 80 months at a salary bill of about R7 million a month.