A man is forced to do push-ups by members of the SANDF in Alexandra township in Gauteng at the weekend. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
A man is forced to do push-ups by members of the SANDF in Alexandra township in Gauteng at the weekend. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

WATCH: Push-ups and squats, SA soldiers slammed for 'abusing their power' during lockdown

By Lee Rondganger Time of article published Mar 30, 2020

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Durban - Just four days after President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed a 21-day lockdown on South Africa to curb the spread the coronavirus and called on the South African Defence Force to assist the police in enforcing the lockdown - video footage is emerging from across the country of soldiers abusing their power.

The footage shows soldiers forcing people not obeying the lockdown to do squats, push-ups and forcing them to roll on the floor.

International news cameras have even captured a soldier slapping a man outside his home in Alexandra in Johannesburg.

This is despite the plea from Ramaphosa to the army to act with humility and kindness when they patrolled the streets of South Africa during the lockdown.

While some on social media supported the tactics of the military in enforcing the lockdown, many said their actions were inhumane.

DA leader, John Steenhuisen were among those who outraged by the some of the soldier's behaviour.

Taking to Twitter, he said: "Those who find the forced squats and push-ups being meted out by the SANDF amusing, just think if this was a member of your family? This isn’t how a professional military conducts itself. History has shown us that it starts with push ups but always ends in a more sinister way..."

%%%twitter https://twitter.com/hashtag/SaluteToFrontLineSoldiers?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SaluteToFrontLineSoldiers

Kudos to SANDF 😂 #LockdownSA #lockdown #Covid19inSA pic.twitter.com/vbWxpaBtE7

— Austin🤝🍏 (@austinjosephza)

Another Twitter user, Lerato Pillay said: "Woke South Africans are tiring sometimes, with fake outrage. On the first day of #lockDownSouthAfrica they were complaining that SANDF is not visible and people are roaming around the streets. Now the SANDF is enforcing the lockdown same woke folks are complaining again".

Constitutional Law expert, Pierre de Vos said the actions by the some members of the defence force and police were  unlawful and an abuse of power. 

"Disciplinary action must be instituted against those involved," he said on Twitter.

Daily News

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