SANDF authorised to assist SAPS in Western Cape hotspots

150520. Cape Town. A boy walks to school with the SANDF patroling the streets of Mannenberg. SANDF and SAPS patroling the streets of Mannenberg on Thursday. SAPS searching random people as SANDF keep guard. This forms part of government's Operation Fiela recently launched to clamp down on criminal activity. Manenberg has been gripped by a deadly spate of gang violence over the past few weeks. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

150520. Cape Town. A boy walks to school with the SANDF patroling the streets of Mannenberg. SANDF and SAPS patroling the streets of Mannenberg on Thursday. SAPS searching random people as SANDF keep guard. This forms part of government's Operation Fiela recently launched to clamp down on criminal activity. Manenberg has been gripped by a deadly spate of gang violence over the past few weeks. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

The deployment is welcomed by the Western Cape premier, Alan Winde.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed on Friday the deployment of a battalion under the “Operation PROSPER” codename for a period of three months, July to October, to the violence-plagued areas of Cape Town and surrounds.

In a statement, the SANDF confirmed that it had been tasked and authorised to deploy various SANDF elements to render assistance to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the identified crime-ridden hotspots in the Western Cape.

“It is prudent to take note that the SANDF is governed by the constitution, 1996, and the Defence Act, 2002. According to Chapter 11 (Sec. 201) (2.) of the constitution of the country, it is stated that, only the president, as head of the national executive, may authorise the employment of the defence force in cooperation with the police service, in defence of the republic or in fulfilment of an international obligation,” the statement said.

The SANDF will deploy a battalion with support elements during Operation PROSPER. The SANDF gets requested from time to time to assist the SAPS in crime prevention operations. This is executed in line with one of the government outcomes of making sure all South Africans are and feel safe, according to the department.

Meanwhile, there has been an overwhelming response to the news that the SANDF will be deployed to hot spots in the province, but not all have been positive.

This follows after Police Minister Bheki Cele announced in Parliament on Thursday that the SANDF’s deployment had been approved. While speaking at a media briefing after he tabled his budget vote in Parliament, Cele said President Cyril Ramaphosa had approved a request for the deployment after he sat down with Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

This was part of “extraordinary” measures to be deployed following a bloody weekend in the Mother City’s townships where at least 13 people were killed in several shootings in Philippi East over the weekend.

The deployment of the SANDF was welcomed by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith.

– African News Agency

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