Lieutenant-Colonel Ruth Ndayi at a Pretoria mall dressed in full uniform and pink slippers.

The South African Air Force found itself on a slippery slope when one of its members chose to accessorise her uniform with a pair of shocking pink slippers.

Lieutenant-Colonel Ruth Ndayi was photographed in April pushing a trolley through Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria, dressed in full uniform, but for the offending footwear.

The picture was sent to the air force for comment and quickly spread on the internet, provoking widespread condemnation.

Ndayi only made matters worse when she first arrived early for an appearance before air force chief Lieutenant-General Carlo Gagiano, and then left and failed to return.

She has now been reprimanded, according to Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who was responding on Wednesday to a parliamentary question.