Ramaphosa defends deployment of SANDF during national shutdown

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Edgar Su Reuters

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Edgar Su Reuters

Published May 17, 2023


Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended the deployment of the SANDF amid threats of a national shutdown, saying it was at the request of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJoints).

Ramaphosa said NatJoints had determined that the SANDF would be required for the protection and safeguarding of national key points and critical infrastructure.

“The NatJoints had conducted an assessment and identified the need for the police to be on the ground across the entire country to provide a safe and secure environment for the planned protests to take place, as well as the condition of a safe and secure environment, freedom of movement and action for those who were not going to participate in the protests,” he said.

Ramaphosa was responding to parliamentary questions from EFF MP Sinawo Tambo, who asked whether there was any credible intelligence on which he relied when he employed the SANDF for a month.

Ramaphosa said the R166 562 058 spent on the SANDF for the month in anticipation of violent protests that did not materialise was justified.

“The employment assisted in providing safe and secure conditions for all the people in the country who were not participating in the protests to safely continue with their normal activities.”

He also said that soon after the completion of the security cluster effort, the SANDF withdrew from that particular deployment and continued with the safeguarding and protection of Eskom power stations in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Free State under the same presidential authority for Operation Prosper.

Cape Times