The South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) has refuted claims that it recruits child soldiers after a social media post that made rounds recently.
South African Army Chief, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha, said he was outraged by the “repeated efforts by faceless criminals to bring the South African Army (SA Army) into disrepute”.
“The recent use of the various social media platforms targeting youths as young as 15 years is absolutely unethical, incorrect and should be condemned by all law-abiding citizens of our country.”
According to a statement released on Monday, neither the SA Army nor the SANDF engages in the employment of child soldiers.
“The Constitution of the country and the relevant legal prescripts of government employment do not allow for the recruitment of minors. It is therefore illegal and unethical to suggest that the SA Army is calling for minors to apply for employment.”
The SANDF said scammers have resorted to luring desperate youths and their unsuspecting parents by offering stipends, free accommodation, and free applications, a deviation from the crooks’ well-known modus operandi of asking for an application fee to make their advertisements enticing.
“The South African Army and the SANDF wishes to reiterate categorically that there is currently no official marketing and recruitment drives being conducted.”
The SA Army has since vowed to cooperate with the relevant law enforcement agencies to track, trace, and bring to book the perpetrators of these “atrocious” criminal acts.