SANDF deployed but the police are still calling the shots, says defence analyst
- SANDF troops have been deployed to help police in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal deal with riots and looting
- At least 10 people have now been confirmed dead in the violence
- Defence analyst Helmoed Heitman says the SANDF will be following orders from the police
The deployment of soldiers to looting hotspots in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal will be decided by the police, says military and defence analyst Helmoed Heitman.
On Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) would be deployed to help police deal with unrest and looting.
Heitman says the SANDF will protect the members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and provide backup as SAPS members enforce the law.
He says the police are stretched thin and need SANDF troops to bolster police presence.
"It's up to the police to decide where they need extra presence, then the defence force will provide the extra bodies", he tells Early Breakfast host Africa Melane.
Essentially it's not up to them, they [SANDF] are deployed in support of the police, which is the normal way of doing it.Helmoed Heitman, military and defence analyst
So the police have to decide where they need extra bodies. The defence force is basically what the military would call a force multiplier for the police. They provide more warm bodies to do things so they can spread the police further.Helmoed Heitman, military and defence analyst
For instance at a checkpoint, instead of having a dozen police or two dozen police, there are a couple of dozen soldiers and two or three police officers. The police presence becomes a lot wider because they've got people to protect them and actually to do the heavy lifting for them as it were.Helmoed Heitman, military and defence analyst
You could see on TV that some of the scenes were getting out of hand, the police were not able to handle it. There are too few of them.Helmoed Heitman, military and defence analyst
Source : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:South_African_National_Defence_Force_soldiers_on_their_way.jpg