It remains difficult to assess the impact of the army's presence with mixed reactions from those in the Cape Flats communities. File Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - With only a few weeks to go of the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) deployment on the Cape Flats, known as “Operation Lockdown”, it remains difficult to assess the impact of its presence with mixed reactions from those in the communities.

On Tuesday, Bishop Lavis Action Community held a meeting to reject a call for the army to be deployed there, saying “it is a knee-jerk response on the part of the government which does not address the causes of the war raging across the Cape Flats”.

One of the group’s organisers, Victor Altensteadt, said the army did not possess the powers of the police to investigate crime and arrest suspected criminals, in line with the Criminal Procedure Act.

“Our justice system is a sham, and is not held accountable throughout its unconstitutional processes,” Altensteadt said.

It would appear the government had listened to the outcry of the working class regarding the army’s deployment, he said, adding that “local government also wants to take the credit”.

“However, we are all well aware that in reality it is only political posturing at its fines.”

Altensteadt said whether it was government at national, provincial or local level, all parties were attempting to score political points.

“It is now almost a year later and neither party is listening to the voices of the working class. They are continuing to ignore our pleas and demands.”

He said the immediate objective was to stop the violence and all criminal activity on the Cape Flats.

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Cape Argus