Military deployment unconstitutional - DA

2012-09-20 21:35
Picture: Sapa

Picture: Sapa

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Johannesburg - The deployment of the SA National Defence Force inside the country over the next four months by President Jacob Zuma is unconstitutional, the DA said on Thursday.

MP David Maynier said the notice on the deployment was too vague.

The presidency said earlier in the day it had authorised the deployment of soldiers to Marikana, backdated to 14 September, until 31 January next year to help the police fight crime.

It said members of the SA National Defence Force would be sent to Marikana and "other areas around the country where needed".

Maynier said the wording "other areas" was too vague and meant the presidency could deploy any number of soldiers anywhere in the country for the purpose of fighting crime and maintaining law and order.

"This is simply not in line with the Constitution."

Maynier said the presidency was required to inform Parliament of the reasons for the deployment of the SANDF, the locations it would be deployed, the number of members to involved and the period of time the deployment will last.

"It is imperative that the president comply with the Constitution when deploying the defence force," Maynier said.

He said the Democratic Alliance supported the deployment of the SANDF to help when there were "exceptional circumstances" which were beyond the resources of the police.

"However, we cannot support the routine deployment of the defence force inside South Africa."

Maynier said he would write to the chair of the joint standing committee on defence to request an urgent meeting to consider the announcement of the deployment.

"We cannot allow President Zuma to have a blank cheque to deploy the defence force inside South Africa for a period of nearly five months," Maynier said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  sandf  |  david maynier  |  jacob zuma  |  military
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