SANDF's deployment in Western Cape extended to March 2020

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Members of SANDF in Manenberg. (Rodger Bosch, AFP)
Members of SANDF in Manenberg. (Rodger Bosch, AFP)

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde got his wish on Monday after President Cyril Ramaphosa extended the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in the province for six more months.

According to the Presidency on Monday, Ramaphosa has allowed the SANDF to stay until March 31, 2020. The original two-month deployment was meant to end on Monday.

"The extension comes into effect today, Monday 16, September 2019," the Presidency said.

"Members of the regular and reserve forces of the SANDF will undertake operations in cooperation with the police, and will support the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order in the Western Cape," the statement continued.

In line with the Constitution, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have been informed.

Ramaphosa authorised the original deployment of the SANDF in July 2019 for a two-month period ending on Monday, amid outrage and fear over shootings and crime in some of Cape Town's gang-ridden suburbs.

They were originally deployed to help in joint operations with police in 10 areas with the highest attempted murder rates - Bishop Lavis, Mitchells Plain, Delft; Elsies River, Nyanga, Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, Philippi, Kraaifontein and Manenberg.

Combined, the 10 areas contributed to 42% of attempted murders in the province, News24 previously reported.

On Sunday, the police said that 191 people on the "wanted" list had been among almost 400 people arrested during a joint operation with the SANDF.

READ: 191 people on 'wanted' list arrested in Cape Town crime blitz

Ramaphosa commended all of the law enforcement agencies for work done so far, and extended his appreciation to affected communities for supporting their work.

The first period of the SANDF's deployment in Cape Town cost R23m. The cost of the extension is not known yet.

Last week Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they had received a letter from Winde, asking for the SANDF to stay for at least another six months.

The SANDF's role is to support the police and a multitude of law enforcement agencies while the police carries out investigations and arrests in "hotspots".

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