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WC government looks set to request extended SANDF stay in Cape Flats

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The Western Cape government is assessing the possibility of extending the presence of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in areas affected by violence, according to Premier Alan Winde.

The army was deployed into the Cape Flats after the escalation of gang violence.

It remains unclear whether the soldiers would remain in the various communities, with their eight-week official mandate ending in 16 days.

Cape Flats army deployment under review

Winde told Cape Talk Radio that his government is assessing whether to request an extension of the SANDF stay.

He said he would like to see a change in approach from the army.

“I want to see far more blitzes, I want to see far more permanency,” Winde told the station.

“They’ll come through and be there for one or two hours and then leave again and the shooting seems to start up straight after that.”

-Alan Winde

The decision on whether or not the army continues to operate in the Cape Flats will be made by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Speaking at a women’s month march recently, Mapisa-Nqakula said a decision on whether to extend the deployment had not yet been made.

“The deployment is underway and whether or not to extend it will be a determination made by people on the ground,” the Minister said on Thursday.

-Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Ramaphosa to have the final say

The deployment of the troops was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa after growing concerns over the increasing murder rate in the areas infested with gang violence.

They arrived in the Cape Flats on 12 July, and have been working hand-in-hand with law enforcement, as well as the Anti Gang Unit.

Mapisa-Nqakula says the army’s presence in the areas is under review, and Ramaphosa will have the final say.

“We work with the police. We are there because we support them. Obviously we collaborate in intelligence gathering and this will inform what needs to happen. We will then be informed whether or not there’s a need to extend.

“That order will come from the Commander-in-Chief after being advised by those who have the authority.”

-Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula

Meanwhile, Winde revealed that the province is drafting its plans to fight crime.

“You will see that every single department in the provincial government is going to have some role in making this a safer province.”

-Alan Winde

(Source: The South African)


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