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Concerns Raised Over Unauthorized Use of South African Army Camouflage

© AFP 2023 LUCA SOLAA South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier detains a suspected looter at Jabulani Mall in Soweto on July 13, 2021.
A South Africa National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier detains a suspected looter at Jabulani Mall in Soweto on July 13, 2021. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 03.11.2023
While there have been instances of unauthorized use of SANDF uniforms and materials in recent years; local media reports indicate that there have been no recent convictions or fines imposed on those involved in these activities.
The unauthorized use of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) camouflage material has raised concerns within the organization. This comes after a video went viral on social media featuring an individual sewing and altering SANDF camouflage fabric.
The SANDF has released an official statement clarifying that the individual seen in the video does not have the authority to possess or modify materials that are exclusive to the South African army. Siphiwe Dlamini, Head of Communications at the Department of Defence, emphasised that this individual had no connection whatsoever with the SANDF.

"The SANDF condemns in a strongest form anyone in possession of Defence Force material and shall use its powers to arrest a person and confiscate materials in that person's possession. Those found in possession of a registered SANDF artefact shall be arrested and charged as per the Defence Act 42 of 2002," Dlamini said, noting that offenders may face a sentence of five years in prison or a fine.

In addition, the SANDF has called on the general public, as well as clothing and fabric manufacturers, to refrain from using, selling or reusing SANDF materials, especially camouflage, without proper registration and authorization.
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This latest statement from the SANDF echoes their previous concerns regarding the misuse of military uniforms. In September 2022, a social media post surfaced of an individual wearing a full SANDF uniform while promoting a birthday event.
The SANDF has previously dealt with cases of uniform misuse, such as the unauthorized use of official military work clothing in a television drama in 2020, according to local media. In all cases, the SANDF stresses that individuals caught illegally wearing their uniforms or using their camouflage patterns will face legal consequences, including fines or imprisonment.
Nevertheless, the SANDF is in the process of introducing a new camouflage pattern in response to the widespread unauthorized use of its current work clothing.