Decision To Deploy Soldiers To Assist Police Was Justified- Motlanthe Commission

The Commission of Inquiry into the August 1 post-election violence which left six people dead and destroyed property estimated at millions of dollars has concluded that the violence was pre-planned and that deployment of the military was justified.

Part of the report reads:

The Commission found that on the basis of all the prevailing circumstances, and in the light of all the evidence presented including the rapid escalation of the situation in a very short space of time, the decision to deploy the Military to assist the Police in the containment of the riots was justified. The deployment could only have been avoided if the Police were adequately experienced, better equipped, sufficient in numbers and more suitably organised. While recognising that in the circumstances, the deployment was unavoidable, the Commission considers that it would have been preferable if the Police had been able to deal with the situation on their own. Whilst the deployment was lawful, the operational framework in terms of Section 37 of POSA was not fully followed in that the deployed troops were not placed under the command of the Regulating Authority due to time constraints as acknowledged by the Commissioner General of Police.

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