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Mapisa-Nqakula: We have deployed 25 000 soldiers

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed to quell looting and destruction of property in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed to quell looting and destruction of property in Alexandra township in Gauteng on Tuesday. Picture: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

Published Jul 14, 2021

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Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says they have pushed up the number of soldiers deployed on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to 25 000.

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This follows an earlier suggestion by President Cyril Ramaphosa that he wanted more troops on the ground compared to the 2 000 that were initially deployed.

Mapisa-Nqakula told the joint standing committee on defence on Wednesday evening that in their discussions with Ramaphosa, he wanted 10 000 soldiers to be deployed in the volatile areas.

But in the meeting with opposition parties early on Wednesday, they wanted 75 000 soldiers.

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But they had to find a middle way between these two numbers, and they have settled on 25 000 members of the defence force.

The minister said the situation was bad in KZN. She said when the army was deployed in KZN a few days ago they secured key installations and did not anticipate the attack of the malls.

Mapisa-Nqakula said the attacks were co-ordinated.

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“What we see are seeds of counter-revolution, the undermining of the state, and the state must assert its authority,” said Mapisa-Nqakula.

The National Security Council was also meeting.

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