Cape Town - The SANDF has poured cold water on social media reports about the withdrawal of soldiers from Operation Prosper deployed in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The SANDF dismisses with contempt and scoffs at the baseless insinuations aimed at causing panic in the country. Perpetrators of these insinuations are reminded that it is an illegal and a prosecutable offence to spread fake news or misinformation,” said SANDF spokesperson Mafi Mgobozi.
This was after EFF leader Julius Malema shared a screenshot of a text message sent to him by someone identifying himself as a soldier deployed in KZN.
“We are suffering in the SANDF. There is no food for us since last week. We are buying food from our own salary. (The) army promised us meal allowances. Please help us. You are our last hope. If we ask them, they victimised us,” read the message in part.
Mgobozi conceded there were “challenges” regarding ration packs and payment of meal allowances.
“These challenges received the necessary attention. As a measure to address developing challenges, there are processes in place to prioritise and address challenges as and when they prevail. This is an ongoing process for the duration of the operation.
“It is outright disingenuous to suggest or to insinuate that soldiers are starving and are considering withdrawing from the operation,” he said.
Operation Prosper is the joint operation between the SAPS and SANDF from July 12 to October 12.
The troop deployment is aimed at co-operation with the SAPS for the prevention and combating of crime and the maintenance of law and order.