By Romeo Takundwa
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday authorised the deployment of the army in efforts to restore order after demonstrations morphed into mass looting and vandalism in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.
Addressing the nation on Monday night, President Ramaphosa said a joint operation has intensified deployment in all the affected areas.
“I have today authorised the deployment of the defense force personnel in support of the operations of the South African police service. The national joint operation and intelligence structure known as Netjoin has intensified deployment in all the affected areas especially in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng,” she said.
Meanwhile, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has appealed for the public to exercise caution amid protest action saying despite soldiers being deployed to help restore calm, they will not tolerate violent demonstrations or acts of criminality.
“We already have our soldiers on the ground in Gauteng and KZN. It’s 2500 but the Defence Force is doing all in its power to get more soldiers to deploy them. I can assure South Africans that the soldiers will behave but one thing I must say to the community is please, we beg you not to provoke our members that are on the streets. We won’t tolerate any ill-discipline as the SANDF during this deployment,” says Brigadier-General Mafi Mgobhozi, SANDF spokesperson.
The South African Police officers seem to have been overwhelmed as they reportedly came under attack from protestors.