General that had soldiers released from police detention must be suspended

2014-05-22
Dr Pieter Groenewald

The SANDF general who mobilised members of the defence force and two Ratels to free 32 soldiers who had been detained by the Police, must be suspended immediately, Dr. Pieter Groenewald, the FF Plus’ chief spokesperson on Police and Defence said.

According to reports today, the general was under the influence of alcohol when he released the soldiers, amongst whom there was a colonel and other officers, after they had been arrested in a shebeen in Oudtshoorn.

Dr. Groenewald said the general must be charged immediately for obstruction of justice, the abuse of state property and the abuse of a position of power. Due to the seriousness of the charges, it should also be considered to just arrest him.

“This type of action attests of poor discipline, especially of a senior officer who thinks he is above the law.

“It is also worrying that a power struggle could arise between the Police and the Defence Force and it is clear that this general is not competent to be in the defence force, and least of all a senior officer.

“The FF Plus will definitely be asking questions in parliament about this and expects the minister of Defence to act immediately and to have the abovementioned steps to be taken against the general.

“Steps must also be taken against the 32 soldiers who were involved in the incident and the police’s investigation should continue,” Dr. Groenewald said.

 

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