Thumbs up for SANDF national stay-away deployment

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Operation Prosper is an encompassing SA National Defence Force (SANDF) tasking which sees the military support government in efforts to ensure, among others, the maintenance of law and order.

This saw another round of activation and employment of soldiers and other SANDF personnel internally to assist police in potentially troublesome situations ahead of Monday’s (20 March) national stay-away called by Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Men and women in uniform were posted at potential flashpoints, including national key points, to prevent damage as from last Friday (17 March). The deployment is scheduled to end on 17 April.

Apart from national key point protection, soldiers were and remain tasked until the third Monday in April with responding to “situations beyond the control of law enforcement agencies” supporting police as determined by provincial joint operations headquarters. An SANDF statement stressed the force is “requested from time to time to support police in crime prevention operations”.

“This is executed in line with one of the government outcomes [as per the Constitution] of making sure all South Africans are and feel safe.”

The latest utilisation of military personnel was welcomed by Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defence (JSCD) in a statement issued in the name of the committee’s joint chairs – Cyril Xaba and Mamagase Nchabeleng.

President Cyril Ramaphosa informed Parliament deployment of 3 474 SANDF personnel from 17 March to 17 April will cost an estimated R166.5 million.