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Resist using excessive force even when provoked, minister tells soldiers

Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 30, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans has pleaded with soldiers to resist from using excessive force against citizen regardless of provocation they face while carrying out their duties.

Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula made the comments in the wake of videos shared on social media purportedly showing soldiers being heavy-handed with members of the public.

She said she had noted various allegations of abuse by member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) deployed in support to government to help contain the spread of Covid-19. She also condemned "any type or form of abuse" committed by the deployed soldiers against citizens during the lockdown period.

She has since instructed Chief of the SANDF to monitor the situation on the ground and deal with those members proven to have used excessive force against citizens.

"Such heavy-handedness is in the interest of safeguarding our citizens. It would be in the interest of the SANDF to empower the public about the dangers of the virus therefore citizens are urged to be in their homes all the time.

"This will help curb the spread of the virus in our communities."

Mapisa-Ngqakula said she was calling upon all citizens to adhere to the lockdown regulations as stated in the government gazette for the duration of the lockdown "and to desist from provoking any of the law enforcement officials deployed to assist curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic".


The Star

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