Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says the visuals showing South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officers smoking cigarettes live on air during the funeral of Andrew Mlangeni in Soweto left her embarrassed.
She says what was particularly embarrassing was that these members were in uniform.
The officers now face disciplinary action.
Mapisa-Nqakula responded to the matter while attending an outreach project in East London.
“From what I have received from the chief of the SANDF, they have been called in and they appeared before their commander. They have been given negative orders. Negative orders is not a good thing in the defence force as it shows some record that shows ill discipline. That is enough for us. As far as I am concerned no crime was committed.”
While smoking is not prohibited under South Africa’s lockdown, the sale of cigarettes is.
Mapisa-Nqakula was in Duncan Village to hand over food parcels and other essentials to displaced residents, who lost their homes in a fire.
The residents are holding out the hope of receiving proper houses one day.
“We lost our belongings; we are hoping that we will get proper houses. We even appreciate the temporary structures they are talking speaking about,” says Buyiswa Xhelo, one of the residents.
Another resident Zakhele Dyantyi adds: ” Housing remains a major challenge here that is why you will find that there are always fires here. We hope the Minister and the Municipality resolve it.”
The backlog in housing delivery was noted by Mapisa-Nqakula. The Minister assured the residents that they were in the area because they care and not because of the upcoming local government elections, set to take place in 2021.
She has promised to speak to the relevent councillor and ensure that the houses promised to the residents are built.
The affected residents will be allocated temporary housing units. The plan by the municipality is to eventually allocate them formal houses as the metro continues with its plan to eradicate informal settlements across the city.