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MBABANE – One thing the soldiers, who were dismissed and never reinstated despite court orders to that effect, are hoping for in the appointment of the new army commander is that he will respect court orders.

Army Commander Lieutenant General Jeffrey Tshabalala was appointed last Saturday by His Majesty the King during the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force’s (UEDF) 46th Army Day, which was held at the Army Headquarters at Nokwane.
The lieutenant general replaced General Sobantu Dlamini, who is now a member of the King’s Advisory Council.

Before Sobantu was redeployed to the advisory council, a group of disgruntled soldiers resolved to attack him at his place of abode at Nkhaba.
The about 15 soldiers accused Sobantu of having dismissed them from work despite that there were court orders directing the army to reinstate them.
However, some of the affected soldiers came out to state that attacking Sobantu would not solve their issues and they refused to be counted among those who wanted to attack the former army commander.

Sobantu said he was ready for those who wanted to attack him and went on to state that he would wait for them with his firearm. He said he was justified to dismiss the soldiers from work and would do it again if he had to.

One of the soldiers who said they would attack the former army commander, Madoda Dlamini, yesterday congratulated Tshabalala on his appointment.
Madoda was dismissed despite that the High Court had ordered that he be transferred to another camp.


However, he said the commanding officers did not want to accept him and he was eventually dismissed from the army.
In an interview, Madoda was quick to state that they were hoping that Tshabalala would respect court orders.

He said it was amazing that when the court orders are issued, the judge sits next to the portrait of His Majesty the King and the Queen Mother.
He mentioned that this meant that even the King and Queen Mother respect the courts and the rulings they make on a daily basis.

Madoda said it was inconceivable why orders the court issued in respect of their matters, especially on their reinstatement, were allegedly not complied with.
Another soldier whose services were terminated but was never reinstated as per former High Court Judge Thomas Masuku’s order about a decade ago, Nkosikayikhethi Nxumalo, shared Madoda’s sentiments.

Nxumalo also congratulated Tshabalala on his appointment and added that they expected him to respect the courts and their orders. He said he could not say much because he has a pending case at the High Court regarding the termination of his services.
“I have a pending case in court and I cannot say much. I will say whatever I have to say when I have my day in court. That is where I will spill the beans,” Nxumalo said.


He also mentioned that failure to comply with a court order was tantamount to disrespecting the King. He said even the judges who issue the orders were appointed by His Majesty the King.

After Sobantu was deployed to the King’s Advisory Council, Madoda said they were not deterred as the redeployment did not change the fact that he was the one who took the decision to dismiss them from work.

“Being redeployed does not exonerate him.  He must be arrested for having defied a litany of court orders directing him to reinstate us,” said the livid Madoda.
In 2012, Madoda hogged headlines when he took the army to court after alleging that he was being threatened in the army. He was branded a rebel by army authorities for his controversies and his ability to challenge his authorities.

He challenged his then employer that he was constructively dismissed from the army and sought an order directing the UEDF to pay him E326 253 as his terminal benefits. He alleged that the army constructively and unfairly terminated his services as a soldier.


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