The outgoing Chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), General Solly Shoke, has called on members of the SA National Defence Force to desist from indulging in drugs and others criminal acts that tarnishes the image of the military.
Shoke said this was important to allow the National Defence Force to remain a shining example of discipline and integrity in the Republic of South Africa.
Speaking during his tour to bid farewell to SA National Defence Force members at the Air Force Base, Makhado in Limpopo Province, General Shoke decried the lack of discipline among soldiers in general and cautioned senior officers to stop fraternising their subordinates by enticing them with money and gifts.
“Commanders in the SA National Defence Force should lead by example, with discipline and respect. Favouritism, nepotism and tribalism must stop,” he said
On drug abuse in the SA National Defence Force, General Shoke said he could not as Chief of the SA National Defence Force issue weapons of war to soldiers who indulge in ‘nyaope’.
“I cannot entrust on a person who is high on drugs a responsibility to carry a gun. I urge all members, irrespective of rank, to seek help within the SA National Defence Force or the Military Ombud rather than reporting military issues to the media and political parties,” he stated.
General Shoke further praised members of the SA National Defence Force who complied with the code of conduct of the military organisation.
He said: “I am proud of our deployment since last year under Operation NOTLELA. As a leader, I acknowledge that some incidents took place and are accordingly being attended to.
“The SA National Defence Force does a lot of good work at the borders in support of the South African Police Service.”
General Shoke thanked all members of the SA National Defence Force for serving with trust under his leadership, notwithstanding the budgetary constraints.
He saluted the South Aftican Air Force members for a job well done over the years during humanitarian aids in countries like Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.
On the home front, General Shoke acknowledged work done with floods in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces and fire rescues in the mountain areas of the Western Cape Province.
Security Watch Africa reports that General Shoke is currently on a nationwide tour to bid farewell to all members of the Bases and Units.
In company of Shoke was the Chief of the SA Air Force, Lieutenant General Wiseman Simo Mbambo.
The Defence Chief, also had earlier visited 5 Special Forces Regiment (SFR) in Phalaborwa, where he bade farewell to members of the SA National Defence Force.
General Shoke, who goes on retirement, will be replaced by Lieutenant General Rudzani Maphwanya, who is currently Chief Joint Operations, on June 1.
Lieutenant General Maphwanya will be the fifth new Chief of the South African National Defence Force since the dawn of democracy in the Republic of South Africa.