SANDF to support law enforcement agencies

Monday, February 28, 2022

The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Thandi Modise, says the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) stands ready to provide support to law enforcement agencies to help maintain stability in the country.

“The SANDF will continue to be on standby to protect all national key points, as well as economic corridors of the country, from any disruption or blockages, either arising from protesting truck drivers or any disruptive elements.

“The SANDF continues to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic and as such, continues to conduct border-safeguarding operations - in particular land borders.  This is in order to curb cross border movement of undocumented persons, illicit goods and drugs, weapons, livestock and stolen vehicles.

"The defence force has registered spectacular successes in this regard by intercepting many luxury cars that were being smuggled into neighbouring countries and the interception of drug smuggling,” she said at a media briefing of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster on Sunday.

The Minister said in addition to assisting law enforcement agencies, the SANDF is also assisting with the construction of bridges by availing the capacity of SA Army engineers to the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme.

“These bridges will assist in curbing the drowning of school children whilst trying to cross swollen rivers to get to school and assist pensioners to access their pension grants. Already we have constructed 16 bridges in KwaZulu-Natal and 18 in the Eastern Cape, and thus enabled thousands to cross dangerous rivers in order to reach clinics, schools and other service delivery centres.

"In the coming months and years, we will intensify this programme, consistent with the marching orders from the Commander-in-Chief."

According to Modise, at least 2 000 new recruits are expected to join the ranks of the SANDF in the early weeks of March, a move she says is expected to “ensure that we have a well-capacitated defence, which is combat-ready and capable of discharging its constitutional mandate”.

Rule of law

Modise said the JCPS Cluster has flagged a “deliberate undermining of the rule of law” during protests as an area of concern.

“Our stance is very clear in this regard: our officers will enforce the rule of law without fear or favour where people deliberately undermine the authority of the State.  No one has the right, irrespective of their grievances or dissatisfaction with anything, to break the law.

“[As] Ministers in the Security Cluster, we are committed to creating a safe and conducive environment that will reassure both citizens of this country and international tourists and investors alike, that they will be safe when they come to do business in this country.

"We therefore call upon all peace-loving people of this country to work with us as we transform and improve the security machinery that will serve all of us without fear or favour.”

Another concern of the cluster is the “low level of trust” between members of the public and law enforcement agencies.

“We will therefore endeavour to rebuild trust between the officers deployed in communities and community members. This will entail reviving the Community Policing Forums, which will work together with the local police stations to fight crime. This will ensure an inclusive approach to assessing the threats that exist in communities and putting in place the necessary responses,” Modise said.

Gender-based violence

Meanwhile, the JCPS Cluster welcomed the promulgation of the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act, Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act and Domestic Violence Amendment Act.

The three new pieces of legislation were enacted in a bid to secure more prosecutions in cases related to gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).

Modise said thousands of South African Police Service members have undergone training to fight crime against women and children.

“The Department of Police has trained over 90 000 officers in an effort to sustain the decline in sexual offences. [SAPS] established GBVF desks at police stations across all provinces, which will be managed by trained GBVF desk officers.

“It is envisaged that these GBVF desks will be finalised by end of March this year and government will be prioritising the identified GBVF hotspots,” she said. –

Most Read

SA News on Facebook

SAnews on Twitter