Parliament, Wednesday, 07 August 2019 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Defence and Military Veterans, on behalf of the committee, calls on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to find a speedy and amicable solution to the issue around the wearing of headscarves (hijab) by Muslim SANDF members.
The committee has noted with concern the ongoing case against Ms Fatima Isaacs, a Muslim army major who has been facing disciplinary action for refusing to remove her headscarf. While the committee awaits the outcome of this morning’s closed military court session against Ms Isaacs, committee Chairperson Mr Cyril Xaba said: “The SANDF needs to find a solution that is befitting to both parties, keeping in mind protocols that regulate order and discipline in the defence force, but also the imperatives of the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution.”
The committee also noted with concern reports on the alleged assault of a civilian by a SANDF soldier in Mitchell’s Plain last week. The committee welcomes the SANDF’s probe into this incident. Mr Xaba said: “We know the difficult circumstances and the need to be thorough when conducting searchers, but we would like to encourage SANDF soldiers to exercise restraint but, at the same time, caution civilians not to cross the line.”
ISSUED BY PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND MILITARY VETERANS, MR CYRIL XABA.
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