By Kaya 959 News
Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal residents are waking up to more boots on the ground as 25 000 more soldiers are expected to be deployed to looting hotspots in those provinces.
What initially began as pro-Zuma protests have since turned into violent riots with thousands of looters destroying shopping centres and infrastructure.
Several shops have been looted and some have been burnt. Businesses are yet to quantify the total damages suffered as a result of the widespread chaos.
Late last night, the SANDF confirmed that reserve members were also being called up.
“As directed by Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha, all reserve members are to report for duty on 15 July at their respective units. The members must report ready with their necessary equipment,” the SANDF said.
More troops needed
On Wednesday, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said the decision to bolster the army’s efforts comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa’s suggestion that more troops were needed on the ground.
On Monday, around 2000 SANDF members were deployed to Gauteng and KZN to assist with efforts by the National Join Operational and Intelligence Structure or NatJOINTS.
SANDF spokesperson, Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, said 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 that the SANDF’s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their Constitutionally mandated law and order duties,” he said.
The IFP has welcomed the deployment.
“It is our belief that at this point – as widespread looting and chaos have brought us to a point of national crisis – without the army, it is clear that South Africa will slide into a war zone-like situation,” said the party’s Velenkosini Hlabisa.