Who called the army troops?

2012-09-15 18:18

Confusion surrounds the deployment of about 150 army troops to Marikana yesterday.

The troops arrived in the afternoon, but nobody is really sure who authorised the deployment.

According to the Constitution, the president is allowed to deploy the army if he gives detailed reasons to Parliament or “the appropriate oversight committee” for doing so. However, he does not require Parliament’s permission.

It is understood the decision to deploy troops was taken at a security cluster meeting this week and a letter of request was signed by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

Procedurally, this request would have gone to President Jacob Zuma and would have to be approved by him.

He is then under an obligation to inform Parliament of this deployment within seven days.

But his spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, said yesterday he did not know whether such a request had been received
and approved.

SANDF spokesperson General Xolani Mabanga said that the soldiers were drawn from different units and would stay for as long as they were needed.

But the police were cagy, saying:
“The SAPS has launched targeted operations throughout the country, including Marikana.

“I don’t know anything about the SANDF,” police spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati told City Press.

“Telling you where these operations are happening will defeat the object of the operation.

“People will know where the police are.” 

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