JOHANNESBURG – Eyewitness News has learnt the High Court in Pretoria has ordered the arrest of the chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the secretary of defence and the head of the air force for being in contempt of court.
Eyewitness News is in possession of court papers in which Judge Mmonoa Teffo ordered the sheriff of the court to locate General Solly Shoke, General Zakes Mmsimang and Doctor Sam Gulube and take them to the nearest prison.
The court found the three are in contempt because they ignored an earlier order, instructing them to reinstate four dismissed air force employees.
The High Court has also ordered the incarceration of the senior SANDF officials until they can explain to the court why the dismissed air force employees were not reinstated.
The South African National Defence Union’s national secretary Pikkie Greeff says the workers were on fixed term contracts.
“At the end of the contracts there were open posts and they qualified for the posts but their contracts weren’t renewed, then the court ordered the defence force to reinstate them.”
Greeff adds the SANDF didn’t respond to the union’s attempts to find out why the order was ignored. “We warned them we are willing to seek the arrest of these respondents and the reaction of Sandf top legal advisors was that we should stop threatening them.”
The court further instructed the head of the prison where the officials will be taken to, to keep them in jail until they are legally discharged.
The defence force says it is not able to immediately comment on the orders.
To view the court order click here.
The application by the dismissed air force employees to have the high court find the SANDF members in contempt of court. (Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)