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SANDF probes Oudtshoorn clash

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Copy of ca p15 SANDF Training DONE

Reuters

File photo: SA National Defence Force members participate in a training exercise.

Oudsthoorn - An alleged confrontation between police and the military in Oudtshoorn after soldiers were reportedly arrested is being looked into, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said on Thursday.

“The SANDF notes with concern media reports about the incident... wherein it is alleged that there was a confrontation between members of the SANDF and SAPS,” Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga said in a statement.

“The SANDF will study the incident report of the infantry school and media reports to verify information contained in those reports in order to ascertain the exact circumstances around the alleged incident.”

He said the matter was being treated with the seriousness it deserved.

Western Cape police on Thursday would not confirm that the 31 people arrested in an Oudtshoorn shebeen were soldiers.

“This office can confirm the arrest of 31 people at an unlicensed liquor premises in Oudtshoorn on Friday... during a search operation,” Lt-Col Andre Traut said.

“The employment status of the arrested people, who were released on an admission of guilt fine, cannot be disclosed or verified.”

The Star earlier reported that a military general resorted to intimidation to get the arrested soldiers out of police custody.

The general reportedly went to the police station in Bongolethu, Oudtshoorn, but when officers refused to release the soldiers he allegedly called the base and about 120 armed troops arrived.

Police locked the door and armed themselves, according to the report. There was no shooting and the soldiers were released.

Traut on Thursday could not confirm this.

“We can further confirm that SAPS are investigating a case of intimidation against three individuals whose employment can also not be verified,” he said.

Mabanga said the SANDF considered ill-discipline unacceptable.

Sapa


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