THE South African government has deployed its army to quell Free Zuma protests that have degenerated into massive looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.
However, opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema urged party followers to resist the deployment of the army.
“No soldiers on our streets! Otherwise, we are joining. All fighters must be ready… they won’t kill us all. We need a political solution to a political problem, not soldiers,” said Malema.
In a statement Monday, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said it had received a request for assistance from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) as protesters were stretching the capacity of the police.
The protest broke out last week when former President Jacob Zuma handed himself over to the police to commence a 15 month jail sentence, passed after he refused to give evidence of corruption during his time in office.
“The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has commenced with pre-deployment processes and procedures in line with a request for assistance received from the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) to assist law enforcement agencies deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal Provinces respectively to quell the unrest that has gripped both Provinces in the last few days,” reads the statement.
“The deployment will commence as soon as all deployment processes are `in place.”
Added its statement: “The duration and number of deploying soldiers will be determined based on the assessment of the situation on the ground by the relevant law enforcement agencies.
“Furthermore, it must be emphasised that the SANDF`s deployment objective is to provide safety and a safe working environment for members of the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies whilst they carry out their Constitutionally mandated law and order duties.”