The decision to extend the duration of the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the Cape Flats is yet to be taken, says Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
“The deployment is underway and whether or not to extend that deployment will be a determination made by people on the ground,” said the Minister on Thursday.
Mapisa-Nqakula was responding to media questions during a Women’s Month Parade in Thaba Tshwane, Pretoria.
The decision to deploy troops was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to assist the police’s multi-disciplinary operations, including the newly-established Anti-Gang Unit, to tackle gangsterism and drug trafficking amid concerns of an alarming murder rate in gang-infested areas.
Troops have been in the Cape Flats since 12 July.
“We work with the police. We are there because we are supporting them. Obviously we collaborate in terms of intelligence gathering and that is what will inform what needs [to happen]. We will then be informed whether or not there’s a need to extend [the deployment].
“That order will come from the Commander-in-Chief after he has been advised by those who have the authority to do so,” said the Minister.
The deployment of troops has been going well, she said.
“It’s important to understand that the Defence Force went in to make a quick intervention and allow for the police to do their work.”
The SANDF was mandated to deploy as part of Operation Prosper/Operation Lockdown from 12 July to 16 September 2019. - SAnews.gov.za