A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) investigation has confirmed claims of unlawful raids on homes by its soldiers in Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal.

This was disclosed by Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in response to a written parliamentary question by Democratic Alliance MP Maliyakhe Shelembe.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the investigation found that ‘the central issue was the fact that the SANDF conducted the house raids illegally without the SAPS and or search warrants and are also alleged to have ill-treated some community members during the raids. The affected community members opened criminal cases at the local police station and laid charges of illegal conduct, theft and assault by these SANDF members.’

The investigation ‘found the allegations to be true and the complaints of the community members to be genuine’. The SANDF would allow the legal process to take its course as per the criminal cases currently in the hands of the police.

“The SANDF has already commenced with the internal military disciplinary processes on those involved, and those found responsible will be dealt with accordingly and to ensure that such unbecoming conduct does not happen again,’ Mapisa-Nqakula said.

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