Defence minister slams SANDF 'strong arm' tactics during lockdown
Durban - National Defense Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, has slammed reports of abuse levelled against members of the South African National Defense.
She was reacting to several videos that have surfaced on social media showing soldiers assaulting members of the public. The SANDF was called in to assist with lockdown measures, which came into effect on Thursday last week.
Mapisa-Nqakula said she has noted the allegations and condemned the actions.
"I want to strongly reiterate the message delivered by the Commander-in-Chief of the SANDF to the deploying of the soldiers to desist from using excessive force against citizens of the country, regardless of the level of provocation they may face. I have since instructed the Chief of the SANDF to monitor the situation on the ground and deal with those members proven to have used excessive or unnecessary force against citizens," she said.
It would be in the best interest of the SANDF to empower the public about the dangers of the virus therefore citizens are urged to remain in their homes at all possible times, the minister added.
On Monday, a video of soldiers forcing residents to do push-ups and squats went viral on social media.
According to the Daily News, international news cameras have even captured a soldier slapping a man outside his home in Alexandra in Johannesburg.
In other videos, soldiers could be seen slapping and kicking members of the public who were caught disobeying the rules of the lockdown.
The Minister urged residents to adhere to the lockdown measures that were issued to the public by President Cyril Ramaphosa.