Defence force not cure for SA's security issues, says analyst

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) cannot be the silver bullet to gang violence or taxi violence in Cape Town, says defence analyst John Stupard.

Stupard explains that the military does not have the capability to resolve the country's civil and security issues.

SANDF is a blunt object, especially when applied to gang violence - where you actually need a scalpel.

John Stupard, Editor at the African Defence Review

Read: 83 SANDF vehicles gone up in smoke

In the instance of intervening in gang violence, Stupard says soldiers would be limited to standing on guard or aiming fire.

You don't have to have heavily armed soldiers in the streets to get some eye and ears in terms of criminal activity in these areas.

John Stupard, Editor at the African Defence Review

SANDF, with the exception of the military police, do not have powers of arrest. Soldiers cannot arrest gang members and cannot intervene.

John Stupard, Editor at the African Defence Review

He explains that soldiers should only be deployed in extreme and mass security break-downs, such as the xenophobic violence in 2008.

The defense force can play a useful, back-up role to the police force and freeing up policing services for more urgent policing matters in that realm.

John Stupard, Editor at the African Defence Review

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