Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday ordered the arrest of three top SA National Defence Force officials, a trade union said.
Chief of the defence force General Solly Shoke, chief of the air force Lt-General Zakes Zimpande Msimang, and defence and military veterans secretary Sam Gulube were wanted for contempt of court, SA National Defence Union (Sandu) secretary general Pikkie Greeff said.
“The fact of the matter is that the three are in contempt of a court order which ordered them to re-employ four soldiers dismissed two years ago,” Greeff said.
The four soldiers' contracts were terminated in 2012 despite there being 32 vacancies in the defence force at the time.
With Sandu's help the soldiers fought the matter in court and an order was granted that they be re-instated in June. The group had not been re-employed by July.
“Now the court has ordered the sheriff of Pretoria to make arrests within 24 hours,” said Greeff.
The SANDF said it was aware of the order.
“There was a provisional order from the court which states that we are supposed to appear before court on 22 July to explain why we have not reinstated (the soldiers),” spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said.
“Apparently the defence union went to court on June 23 and lodged an application concerning contempt of court and the court granted that order,” said Mabanga.
Greeff said it seemed the SANDF was confused.
“The July case was to discuss why the three should not be arrested for contempt of court. The re-instatement issue was already concluded when they were ordered at the beginning of June to re-employ them,” Greeff said.
Mabanga said the SANDF would only issue further comment once it had studied the order.