SANDF to probe video of soldier allegedly punching man during Cape Flats op

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

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) has launched an investigation after one its soldiers allegedly assaulted a civilian during an operation in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, Cape Town, last week.

In a video, the man stops his red Hyundai Accent and a soldier opens the passenger door to look inside before moving around to the other side of the vehicle. Another soldier looks in the boot.

The driver then gets out and addresses the group of soldiers. Another soldier enters the frame and allegedly punches the man in the face.

Noor Mitchell, 28, told IOL that after being allegedly punched, the soldier said "hey voetsek" and made him take his possessions out of the vehicle.

Mitchell told the site that after the rough treatment he had left but later came back to get their details, and was allegedly told to get lost.

Read: Do joint police-military crackdown operations actually reduce violent crime?

SANDF spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said it was aware of the alleged assault that took place last Thursday.

He added it allegedly happened during a co-ordinated operation called Operation PROSPER.

"Details surrounding this occurrence are still sketchy at the moment, however an internal investigation was convened to determine the circumstances that led to this incident."

Mgobozi did not indicate the circumstances in which soldiers were allowed to search civilians.

A total of 1 320 SANDF members were deployed to Cape Town's gang-ridden areas last month in a R23m operation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated at the time that they would, in co-operation with the police, be responsible for "the prevention and combating of crime and maintenance and preservation of law and order in the Western Cape".

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