SANDF chief wants clarity on civilian courts intervention

Solly Shoke was speaking at briefing, where he announced the recall to duty of 500 soldiers.

Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - South African National Defence Force(SANDF) chief Solly Shoke says he will approach the court to seek clarity on the jurisdiction of civilian courts to intervene in military disciplinary matters.

He was speaking at briefing in Pretoria yesterday, where he announced the recall to duty of about 500 soldiers who have been on special leave since 2009.

The members were part of violent protests at the Union Buildings.

The South African National Defence Union (SANDU) has on several occasions successfully challenged the lawfulness of the disciplinary action taken against the soldiers.

Shoke says the SANDF wanted to deal with the matters as quickly as possible, but they've been frustrated by continued court action.

"I will be approaching the courts so that we can address the boundary issues as it impacts discipline in the Defence Force."

Shoke says that he's not ruled out the possibility of further attempts to discipline the soldiers.

He adds the main reason for the recall was his discomfort with paying soldiers who are sitting at home.

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