Police Minister Fikile Mbalula and the police's head of statistics, Major General Norman Sekhukhune, present South Africa's crime stats to MPs on Tuesday. PHOTO: Chantall Presence/ANA
Parliament - A request to deploy members of the South African army to help police quell violence in crime hot spots is being processed by the presidency, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula told Parliament on Tuesday.

Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on police, Mbalula explained that the South African National Defence Force would not be used to do the work of police but rather act as reinforcements.

"We are responding to an alarming situation with regard to our communities where there are violent acts undertaken by violent criminals," he said.

"This is not a static, permanent stationing of the defence force to do police work. We looking at tactical deployments and them [SANDF] being led by South African Police Service." 

Mbalula said the decision to deploy will come from President Zuma.

"The president will give us the go-ahead once he has actually cleared the matter with himself and people who advise him on the matter."

Mbalula said, if approved, the defence force would be deployed to hotspots in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

The three provinces were among those who recorded the most number of murders.

Gauteng, South Africa’s most heavily populated province, recorded 4,101 murders in the 2016/17 financial year, up 6.7 percent. 

Kwazulu-Natal police responded to 4,014 murders (up 2.2%), followed by the Eastern Cape with 3,628 murders (down 0.6%).

The Western Cape recorded the fourth largest number of murders at 3,311 (up 2.7 percent), with gang related activities responsible for a large portion of the killings.

African News Agency