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SANDF chief warns soldiers against involvement in ANC matters

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The SANDF said it is aware of a planned meeting where senior members of the military are expected to discuss undisclosed issues affecting the ANC

Chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke. Picture: Phill Magakoe

THE CHIEF of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke, has sternly warned serving members to steer clear of involvement in ANC matters and bringing the name of the military into politics.

Shoke’s firm remarks came as the SANDF said it is aware of a planned meeting where senior members of the military are expected to discuss undisclosed issues affecting the ANC.

“It has come to the attention of the chief of the South African National Defence Force, General Solly Shoke, that there is planning for a meeting where various serving senior military members have been or will be invited to attend to discuss matters currently affecting the ruling party in the country,” the SANDF said in a statement.

“General Shoke would like to state categorically, without any contradiction and in no uncertain terms, that no serving member of the South African National Defence Force will be or has been authorised to attend such purported meeting to discuss petty party-political matters. The SANDF remains an organisation which is above politics, serving the sovereign security interests of the Republic as mandated by the Constitution.”

It said the military command distanced itself from calls to discuss party-political matters.

The ANC is currently mired in controversy after its senior members, led by secretary-general Ace Magashule, travelled in a SANDF jet for inter-party talks with the ruling Zanu-PF in neighbouring Zimbabwe.

Amidst the fallout, Magashule apologised, saying the ANC delegation had used an “unusual manner” to travel to Harare and the party would reimburse the government for the costs.

“In our quest to achieve this mission, we travelled in an unusual manner and profusely humble ourselves where we went wrong during the lockdown and will reimburse the government for the costs incurred on behalf of our delegation,” said Magashule.

It has been confirmed that South Africa’s public protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was probing the use of the SANDF jet by the ANC officials.

– ANA