SANDF slams union for calling for Zuma to step down
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Monday “strongly condemned” a call by a defence force union that President Jacob Zuma be removed as commander in chief of South Africa’s armed forces.
The statement by the South African National Defence Union (Sandu) on Sunday followed a Constitutional Court ruling which found that Zuma and Parliament had been in violation of the Constitution when they ignored directives from the Public Protector related to improvements at Zuma’s Nkandla home.
“SANDU, in the circumstances, calls on the commander in chief to be removed from his post and the parliamentary members to resign,” the union said.
“SANDU supports any call for mass action and any other lawful means to remove President Zuma from office. This is not a political stance, but a moral and constitutional stance in support of our constitutional democratic values of the rule of law.”
However, the SANDF hit out at the Sandu statement, calling “on individuals and/or organisations, and SANDU in particular, not to incite members of the SANDF”.
It also warned against using members of the SANDF to advance or pursue political ambitions.
“The SANDF will view such conducts as acts of provocation and that will not be tolerated.”
The SANDF said it wanted “to confirm and assure all South Africans that it is a non-partisan institution that is established and managed in accordance to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as amended. The SANDF will remain above petty party politics and refused to be drawn into politics”.
Earlier on Monday, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula called for Sandu’s Pikkie Greef to be criminally charged over the controversial statement.
Greef had said: “Sandu finds it absolutely despicable that the commander in chief of the armed forces, which is President Jacob Zuma, has been judged by the highest court to have contravened the Constitution and the fact that he now remains in his post and also as commander in chief is completely unacceptable.”
But speaking ahead of an ANC national working commission meeting in Cape Town, Mapisa-Nqakula is reported to have said: “Whatever political crisis we are having, there’s a political solution. If he’s mobilising men and women in uniform, that amounts to a coup d’etat ... a coup d’etat will not be allowed in South Africa. If anything, in my view he should be charged”. – African News Agency (ANA)