The South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) says the intoxicated man seen in military uniform in public has been arrested and convicted.
This is after the SANDF recently announced that the soldier, N. Ngcobo, had been identified after having been absent without leave (Awol) since 27 July.
The video of the visibly drunk soldier, who was in uniform, had been circulating on social media platforms.
The SANDF has since confirmed that the soldier has already appeared in court following his arrest.
“The soldier was arrested by the Military Police on Friday, 21 August 2021 in Thaba Tshwane and was kept in custody at the military detention barracks pending his court appearance in a court of a military judge,” the defence force said in a statement on Tuesday.
The SANDF said the soldier was then found guilty of violating the military disciplinary code (MDC), adding that his rank in the defence force had been reduced.
“Corporal P.N. Ngcobo, a Reserve Force member, appeared in a court of a military judge on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 and was charged under the Military Disciplinary Code, section 45(a.)… unseemly conduct and was found guilty on the charge preferred against him. He was sentenced to a reduction in rank (one rank lower) from a corporal (Cpl) to a lance corporal (L Cpl).”
SANDF chief Rudzani Maphwanya and the military command council welcomed the ruling of the military court.
The council issued a stern warning to all soldiers that the military would not tolerate any ill-discipline and said drastic action would be taken against any member contravening the military disciplinary code.
“Members of the SANDF are expected to conduct themselves with the necessary decorum and discipline at all times.”
Earlier this month, President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the deployment of SANDF soldiers to assist police in maintaining law and order in the country.
The ongoing deployment of 10,000 soldiers was confirmed via a letter from Ramaphosa to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).
The deployment was extended from 13 August 2021 to 13 September 2021.
The letter, addressed to NCOP chairperson Amos Masondo, was dated 10 August and also confirmed that the deployment would cost nearly R255 million – R254,914,500 to be precise.
The proposal of the reduction of the SANDF deployment was made by then defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula an hour before she was removed during the recent Cabinet reshuffle.