The decision to extend the duration of the deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) in the Cape Flats is yet to be taken, Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said.
“The deployment is underway and whether or not to extend it will be a determination made by people on the ground,” the Minister said on Thursday.
Mapisa-Nqakula was responding to media questions during a Women’s Month Parade in Thaba Tshwane.
The decision to deploy troops was authorised by President Cyril Ramaphosa to assist police multi-disciplinary operations, including the newly-established Anti-Gang Unit, to tackle gangsterism and drug trafficking amid concerns of an alarming murder rate in gang-infested areas.
Troops have been in the Cape Flats since 12 July.
“We work with the police. We are there because we support them. Obviously we collaborate in intelligence gathering and this will inform what needs to happen. We will then be informed whether or not there’s a need to extend.
“That order will come from the Commander-in-Chief after being advised by those who have the authority,” said the Minister.
The deployment of troops is going well, she said.
“It’s important to understand the defence force went in to make a quick intervention and allow police to do their work.”
The SANDF was mandated to deploy as part of Operation Prosper/Operation Lockdown from 12 July to 16 September.