Lance Corporal Nkululeko Zulu leaving a tribunal in central London 040719 Credit PA Images
Army

Former Paratrooper Brands British Army As 'Racist Institution'

Another soldier claimed their barracks were decorated with Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler.

Lance Corporal Nkululeko Zulu leaving a tribunal in central London 040719 Credit PA Images

Nkululeko Zulu said he was held back from promotion because of his ethnicity (Picture: PA).

A former soldier says the British Army is a "racist institution", an employment tribunal has been told. 

Nkululeka Zulu claims he witnessed numerous examples of racism in the Army and believes he was held back from promotion because of his ethnicity.

Mr Zulu and another former soldier, Hani Gue, both argue they were victims of racism while serving in the Parachute Regiment.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is contesting the claims and denies it tried to cover up the allegations.

Mr Zulu served as a lance corporal with 3rd Battalion (3 Para), the tribunal in central London heard.

Mr Zulu claims he was racially abused by a sergeant in 2014 after asking for early holiday to return to South Africa to visit family.

The tribunal was told that matters had escalated during a six-week exercise in Kenya in 2017. 

He said a corporal had referred to Kenyan soldiers as "African animals".

During a platoon conversation, a private stated 'Nelson Mandela is a terrorist' and this was supported by a corporal, Mr Zulu further claimed. He said:

"Both the corporal and private knew that Nelson Mandela, who fought for the liberation of black people under the evil apartheid regime in South Africa, was a big part of my life and South Africa's history."

After reporting the "racial abuse and slurs" he said people in his unit stopped talking to him.

Mr Zulu told the tribunal he left the Army in 2018 as he could no longer go on serving a "racist institution".

Simon Tibbitts, for the MOD, said after an apology from the sergeant, Mr Zulu had accepted he was happy with the outcome but the former paratrooper said this was because he was of a junior rank and keen to progress his career.

The tribunal also heard from Mr Gue, who claimed soldiers had decorated their barracks with Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler.

The tribunal continues.