By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has condemned call for the removal of President Cyril Ramaphosa from office.
This was in response to a call by a former Commander, Sylvester Mangolele calling for the South African leader to be ousted from office.
The video of the former officer went viral on social media on Tuesday.
Mangolele was heard calling for Ramaphosa to step down within 48 hours or risk being forced out of office, citing violations of the constitution as a major reason.
Responding, the army on Tuesday distanced itself from Mr Mangolele’s comments, saying that he does not speak on behalf of SANDF.
“The SANDF condemns Sylvester Mangolele’s utterances with (the) contempt it deserves,” said SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini.
Mangolele was dismissed from the defence force in 2018, the army said, without clarifying why he was sacked.
South Africa is due for election this year amidst division on the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
Ramaphosa is expected to stand for re-election but without the support of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma who instead has said he would vote against Ramaphosa while still in ANC.
The ANC will face fierce competition from the opposition parties Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters, but smaller parties and independent candidates could be crucial in case of coalition negotiations.
Zuma was ousted as the country’s leader by Ramaphosa in 2018 amid wide-ranging allegations of corruption in government and state-owned companies during his presidential tenure from 2009 to 2018.
Zuma said that he’s backing the newly-formed Umkhonto we Sizwe party that is named after the ANC’s now-defunct military wing, which was disbanded after the liberation struggle.