Sandu remains suspicious of Sandf management after recalling 500 soldiers

The soldiers were involved in the violent demonstration at the Union Building in 2009.

FILE: Sandu says they’re watching developments closely because they don’t trust defence management. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - While the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) has welcomed the recall to duty of about 500 members who've been on special leave for nearly seven years, it remains highly suspicious of management.

The soldiers were involved in the violent demonstration at the Union Building in 2009.

South African National Defence Force (Sandf) chief Solly Shoke announced yesterday that he's recalling the soldiers because he can no longer continue to pay them while they sit at home.

Sandu's Pikkie Greeff says they're watching developments closely because they don't trust defence management.

"The maliciousness of the defence force has been proven in this case time and time again and we will close monitor the situation. We are engaging with defence force attorneys."

Greeff says the soldiers have been on special leave for 80 months at an average salary cost of about R7 million a month.

"That brings is to R560 million roughly. One must remember that these members also have medical benefits and so do their families and some other benefits."

It's unclear when the soldiers will be asked to return to their bases.