/ 2 July 2014

SANDF challenges arrest order

Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga.
Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Wednesday filed an application with the high court in Pretoria challenging an order for the arrest of three of its top officials.

“We have filed an application for a stay of execution,” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.

“This means that we are requesting that the court consider that yesterday’s order not be executed.”

The court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of defence force chief Lieutenant General Solly Shoke, air force chief Lieutenant General Zakes Zimpande Msimang and Secretary for Defence and Military Veterans Sam Gulube.

The three were wanted for contempt of court after they failed to follow a court order to reinstate four soldiers dismissed two years ago.

The four soldiers’ contracts were terminated in 2012 despite there being 32 vacancies in the defence force at the time.

The court had ordered that the group be reinstated in June, but this was not done.

South African National Defence Union secretary general Pikkie Greeff said on Tuesday that the court had ordered the sheriff of Pretoria to make an arrest within 24 hours.

“They are not yet in police custody,” Mabanga said at 3pm on Wednesday. – Sapa