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Johannesburg - Expelled ANCYL leader Julius Malema will on Wednesday address members of the SA National Defence Force in Johannesburg.
“The address is as a result of requests sent by the armed forces to Malema to come and listen to their cries and demands,” suspended ANCYL spokesman Floyd Shivambu said in a statement.
Shivambu said the soldiers' complaints included being threatened with dismissal, and low salaries.
“Malema will listen to their demands and suggest solutions to end the unnecessary starvation and threats of dismissals to the soldiers.”
In response, military bases were placed on high alert on Tuesday night, according to a report.
Timeslive reports that Defence Ministry spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said all bases had been placed on “high alert”.
“The situation is being monitored. We cannot elaborate. Directives have been issued to base commanders and certain steps are being taken,” Dlamini was quoted as saying.
According to Timeslive, Dlamini said it was the first time that something like this had happened in the military.
“The military is a non-partisan organisation… this is being viewed as incitement… which is a criminal offence… it will be treated as such,” he said.
The report said that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula also issued a strongly worded statement saying that ill-discipline in the military was a direct threat to the country's security.
“It has been the expressed intention of Malema that his activities in the mining sector are aimed at rendering the sector 'ungovernable', thereby undermining the economy. The country cannot afford for similar instability in the military. The SANDF is the last line of defence of the sovereignty of the country. We cannot allow anyone to play political football with this institution,” she said.
According to Timeslive, Mapisa-Nqakula said any attempt to destabilise the military would be regarded as anti-South African and counter-revolutionary at the highest level.
“It is not going to be tolerated. It must be stated in no unclear terms that the military operates within an environment of command and control wherein discipline forms an integral part.
“Any actions outside this realm will be dealt with decisively by the chief of the SANDF.
“The minister calls on all members of the SANDF and the public to distance themselves from these actions of Malema.
“No permission has been granted by the SANDF's command structures for any soldiers to participate in the proposed gathering.
“Any member who does without proper permission will be subjected to the disciplinary code of the SANDF. The compromise of discipline within the SANDF is a threat to the security of our country and all our people.” - Sapa, IOL