Pretoria - The High Court in Pretoria could not hear a case against SANDF officials on Tuesday because the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) did not file court papers.

“The SA National Defence Force was ready to appear before (the) high court… The matter could not be heard today (Tuesday) pending the filing of papers by Sandu,” said SANDF spokesman Brigadier-General Xolani Mabanga.

He could not be reached by Sapa on Wednesday for a postponement date.

The case was against top SANDF officials who allegedly failed to uphold a previous court order to reinstate four soldiers dismissed two years ago.

On July 1, Sandu said the court ordered the arrest of three top officials - defence force chief Lieutenant-Genenral Solly Shoke, air force chief Lieutenant-Genenral Zakes Zimpande Msimang, and defence and military veterans secretary Sam Gulube - for contempt of court after failing to comply with the order.

The four soldiers' contracts were terminated in 2012 despite there being 32 vacancies in the defence force at the time. With Sandu's help the soldiers fought the matter in court and the order was granted that they be reinstated in June. The four had not been re-employed by July.

At the time, Mabanga said the SANDF officials were summoned to court to explain why they had not been reinstated.

Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday. - Sapa