Cape Town – The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has filed charges against a company which supplied it with expired ration packs.
SANDF said the packs were distributed to more than 6 000 soldiers deployed during to help enforce a five-week lockdown to slow the spread of Covid-19.
SANDF chief General Solly Shoke said charges were opened with military police at the defence headquarters in the capital Pretoria.
“If this proves to be true, these types of actions are tantamount to sabotage of the SANDF’s mandate to protect South Africa,” Shoke said in a statement.
“The … military police … has appointed a dedicated team to investigate the case, and those found to be on the wrong side of the law must face the full might of the law.”
Colonel Louis Kirstein said defence authorities were notified of the expired goods by a soldier on the ground, and an inspection of the ration packs found this to be true.
“We planned to feed all 6 000 soldiers deployed during the Covid-19 lockdown. When we issued the ration packs one of the soldiers notified us that the ration packs were expired. The expired dates of the ration packs had a new sticker over it with a new date,” Kirstein said.
The SANDF did not identify the company involved by name.
“We will be withholding the name of the company who supplied the ration packs until the investigation has been concluded,” Kirstein said.
“A case of fraud has already been opened with the military police.”
African News Agency/ANA
By Robin-Lee Francke