Where are the troops? Army brass mum

2015-04-23 00:00

MILITARY top brass are keeping mum on the deployment of SANDF troops to KwaZulu-Natal.

SANDF spokesperson Xolani ­Mabanga told News24 that troops had been deployed in the province, which has seen the lion’s share of xenophobic violence and unrest.

“This is an operation that is led by the police and if I were to tell anyone where the soldiers are, this would ­compromise the secrecy of the operation and undermine it,” he said.

“We can say for sure that our troops are in the province, unfortunately that is all I can divulge,” he said.

The police and army raided the ­Jeppestown hostel on Tuesday night, searching for weapons after an ­announcement by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that ­soldiers would aid in curbing attacks on foreign nationals.

Eleven men were arrested for being in possession of drugs and stolen property during the raid, News24 reported.

During a press briefing, Mapisa-Nqakula said the state security cluster would be “moving around to check what is happening”.

“We will also find time to go to KZN. We thought we could go this afternoon [Tuesday], but unfortunately now the big boss would like to see us. So we’ll probably go there tomorrow [Wednesday] after the stakeholders’ meeting.

“But it is our responsibility to make sure that the entire country is okay.”

She said the mandate of the SANDF was not to protect the SA Police Service, but to support it.

“We are not here to take over the work of the police. We are coming in because there is a crisis; we are coming in because the police asked us to help.”

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