The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) on Monday confirmed that it had deployed soldiers to support the police to quell the violent looting that has spread across KwaZulu-Natal over the past 24 hours.
In a statement, the SANDF said it was deploying soldiers in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal provinces to assist enforcement agencies bring under control the unrest that has gripped both provinces. The statement read:
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The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal Provinces respectively to quell the unrest that has gripped both Provinces in the last few days. The deployment will commence as soon as all deployment processes are in place.
The duration and number of deployed soldiers will be determined based on the assessment of the situation on the ground by the relevant law enforcement agencies.
Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the SANDF’s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their constitutionally mandated law and order duties.
SANDF deployment-related information updates will follow in due course.
Meanwhile, the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to address the country today on the government’s response to the public violence in Gauteng and KZN.