'SANDF deployment has played positive role in security efforts in Gauteng, KZN'
- African Defence Review's John Stupart says the military presence in Gauteng and KZN over the past week has been useful
- While armed soldiers have limited powers, Stupart says their large and visible presence has been a deterrent
- The army has been deployed to patrol in areas where there has been public violence and unrest until mid-August
Having soldiers on the streets during the week-long public violence and looting has been a positive contribution to South Africa's security efforts, says African Defence Review director John Stupart.
Stupart, who also writes for Daily Maverick, says soldiers have been instructed to follow a strict Code of Conduct that emphasises “minimum force” during their deployment.
Last week, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed to hotspot areas in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal affected by looting and public violence.
Stupart believes that the SANDF deployment "formed a very positive contribution to security efforts across the country, even though very little active arrest or policing is done by the defence force".
The troop deployment will be in place until 12 August 2021.
At the same time, Stupart says it's very concerning that Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula contradicted President Ramaphosa Cyril Ramaphosa about South Africa surviving a failed insurrection last week.
We're seeing the absolute principle of minimum force at play.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
It's a very good thing. I don't think the military should be utilised in any more regressive stance, particularly now that appears that it appears that the worst of the violence and looting is over.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
This code of conduct is incredibly restrictive. It's very restraining on the soldiers and I think that's a good thing given that the soldiers are typically trained to fight and kill an adversary.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
I hope it's adhered to until the end of their deployment hopefully by the end of August.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
Their mandate is very clear... To the average soldier, what's happening in the higher levels of politics, I think, is not important.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
Where it does matter and what is alarming is the fact that there were contradicting statements between the Minister of Defence and the Presidency. It's alarming.John Stupart, Director - African Defence Review
Source : Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News