Military to be deployed in KZN and Gauteng as looting spreads
The cabinet has taken a decision to deploy members of the military in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in the wake of the protests against the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma.
The widespread protests, which have resulted in the looting and torching of shops and trucks, has attracted the attention of the cabinet.
Insiders have told TimesLIVE the decision to deploy the army was taken at a special meeting of the justice crime prevention and security cluster of the cabinet on Monday.
Sources also revealed the meeting is still ongoing but the process of informing parliament and other relevant stakeholders has started.
In terms of the law, President Cyril Ramaphosa, as commander in chief of the army, is obliged to inform parliament about military deployment within the country or abroad.
TimesLIVE has it on good authority the army is likely to be deployed by the end of Monday.
“There will be shoes on the ground. By end of the day I’m convinced there will be shoes on the ground,” said an insider familiar with the discussions.
It is understood the army will initially be brought in to assist police to quell the protests which are seemingly getting out of hand.
“The deployment will be according to the police plan. It’s not necessarily a deployment of soldiers. They will go where the police are saying they need a hand,” said an insider.
The deployment will commence as soon as all deployment processes are in place.SANDF statement
The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) later confirmed it was deploying members after a request from the police.
“The 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 to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to quell the unrest that has gripped both provinces in the last few days,” the SANDF said in a statement.
“The deployment will commence as soon as all deployment processes are `in place.
“The duration and number of deploying 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 the SANDF’s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the police and other law enforcement agencies while they carry out their constitutionally mandated law and order duties.
“SANDF deployment-related information updates will follow in due course. ”
This is a developing story.