The picture, with members of the defence force gathering at what appears to be a celebration, has left the SANDF shocked and angered.
SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini told the Cape Times on Monday that the members belonged to a military base in Pretoria. He would, however, not disclose its name.
He said Chief of the Army Lieutenant-General Lindile Yam has issued an instruction to authenticate the photo.
He said Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Maphisa Nqakula had been informed of the incident but was out of the country.
“It is disturbing to see such a photo displaying the old South African flag by members in the uniform of the new South African National Defence Force (SANDF). It is shocking, to say the least, that among ourselves we still have members who are stuck in the old and have not moved with the rest of the defence force in the new dispensation.
“The defence force is one of the shining lights, if not the shining light, when it comes to the reconciliation of the new South Africa.
“There is no better place that has shown that reconciliation can be achieved like the South African National Defence Force. It is disturbing indeed that we have some members in our midst who are holding on to the past.
“I would like to add that the chief of the army is conducting an investigation to authenticate the veracity of the photo, which will be followed by action which would be taken against such members if it is found to be true,” said Dlamini.
Dlamini said he was alerted to the picture by a colleague who had seen it already trending on social media.
“I am not sure what actually was happening (in the picture), but I can safely say it does look like it was a gathering of some sort.”