Soldiers on duty for voter registration

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Seventy-five soldiers will find themselves “maintaining law and order” when the first round of voter registration takes place this weekend ahead of next year’s election.

President Jacob Zuma, also Commander-in-Chief of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), informed Parliament the soldiers would work alongside police in prevention and combatting of crime as well as the maintenance and preservation of law and order across the country during registration.

A similar number of uniformed personnel will be given the same duty when the second round of voter registration takes place on February 8 and 9.

He also told Parliament 330 soldiers had been used to assist in maintaining law and order while two high-level continental meetings took place in Pretoria earlier this week.

The soldiers found themselves alongside police during the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the African Capacity for Immediate response to Crisis (ACIRC) summits. They were, according to The Presidency, assisting with the preservation of law and order in South Africa during the meetings held at the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) conference centre.

The summits were attended by Heads of State, ministers and several diplomats from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Great Lakes Region. defenceWeb established that nine African countries, along with host South Africa, were present at the ACIRC summit.

The cost of military protection during the summits was put at R335 495 with R1 242 000 the estimated cost of both voter registration deployments.