The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) says it has noted public comments on the case of a Muslim member who is being subjected to a disciplinary hearing after refusing to remove her hijab.
Major Fatima Isaacs, who has been a member of the armed forces for 10 years and works as a clinical forensic pathologist, is set to face a disciplinary hearing in August. She is being charged with wilful defiance and disobeying a lawful command.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the armed force insists that "religious affiliation is recognised by the defence force under the guidance and leadership of the Chaplain-General".
SANDF spokesperson Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi explains that there is a dress code that dictates how the SANDF uniform should be worn. He says that no other clothing should be worn with the uniform.
We are not harsh but as we have put it very clear in our statement, the SANDF has a dress code.— Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi, Spokesperson - SANDF
Our dress code has to be adhered to by each and every member.— Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi, Spokesperson - SANDF
Our uniform cannot be worn with any piece which is not officially issued to someone.— Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobozi, Spokesperson - SANDF
The SANDF insists there are many religious groups within its cohort and they are similarly expected to adhere to the code.
Click on the link below to hear more from Mgobozi...