Johannesburg - The incumbent new commander of the Durban Light Infantry, who allegedly wore a deceased soldier's medals at an official parade, has labelled the incident a malicious prank, Beeld reported on Wednesday.
Lt-Col Sibusiso Amos Mbuyazi, 42, reportedly wore the unit's deceased's chaplain's Southern Cross and Pro Patria medals and his John Chard Decoration for impeccable, continuous service when he received his rank at a Pretoria parade on 22 August.
The medals were allegedly stolen from the unit's display cabinet in May, and stolen for a second time after Mbuyazi wore them in August.
Mbuyazi told Beeld that malicious subordinates were waging a smear campaign to discredit him.
He said the labels were pinned to his uniform by a senior officer.
When Mbuyazi was confronted about the medals a few days after he wore them, he reportedly said he had “borrowed them from a friend”.
He denied having said this, and claimed his own medals were stolen, along with the others.
In terms of the military discipline code, he was charged with theft, theft of state property or property of a fellow soldier, disgraceful behaviour, and conduct unbecoming of an officer.