SANDF called in to quell unrest

The military has been summoned to help quell the growing unrest that has gripped Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. 

As looting and violence continued on Monday, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed – following a request from National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) – that it would start pre-deployment processes to assist law enforcement at scenes of riots. 

“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,” the SANDF said in a statement.

“Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the SANDF’s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies while they carry out their constitutionally mandated law and order duties.”

The civil unrest has ramped up over the weeked. Initially believed to have been started by supporters of former president Jacob Zuma who were angered by his incarceration, the protests have spread across the country and have taken the form of indiscriminate vandalism and looting. Zuma began a 15-month sentence last week after he was found in contempt of a Constitutional Court order.

The court is currently sitting to hear a bid by Zuma to have his sentence reviewed

As of Monday morning, Natjoints reported that 219 arrests had been made and six people had died.

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Zondo dismisses Fraser’s application to cross-examine witnesses

The former head of the State Security Agency and Zuma ally did not come close to complying with the state capture inquiry’s rules for cross-examination, Zondo said

Hawks head testifies before SAHRC: Intelligence would have been ‘ideal’

No members of the police, defence force or state security have been implicated ‘at this stage’ in ongoing investigations into the July unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng

A to Z guide on HIV: The top 10 things...

The HIV pandemic isn’t going anywhere until a cure is found. In the meantime, HIV clinicians say South Africa should protect its victories

PODCAST: How South Africa fits into the global economy, pt...

Michael Power chats to the M&G editor-in-chief and business journalists about South Africa and its place in the global economy

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…