South Africa deploys army

Law enforcement officers deployed to Philippi

South Africa to deploy soldiers to Cape Town as homicides soar

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz on Friday said the provincial cabinet had accepted a proposal for the establishment of a inter-ministerial collaboration to assist in the stabilisation of communities most afflicted by gangsterism and criminality.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, during a debate on the SA Police Service budget in the National Assembly on Thursday night, announced the SANDF would join a large police contingent to be deployed to several policing precincts.

He said "extraordinary measures" were required as murders in the Western Cape province had soared by 6.3 percent from 3,729 to 3,963 during the year to April 2019.

Soldiers have been used in similar missions before but violence has peaked in recent months in the sprawling townships.

General Solly Shoke, chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), said the military 'will deploy a battalion with support elements during the operation'.

After initially reporting the deployment would begin today, the army has stalled while necessary paperwork is carried out.

The move comes after a bloody weekend in Philippi and Hanover Park claimed over a dozen lives.

On the weekend at least 11 people were shot dead in Philippi East.

But, deploying the army, which occurs regularly over the festive season when crime spikes and soldiers back up normal policing activities, is not a lasting solution, analysts said.

Gangland murders is completely out of control in Cape Town.

In a report this year by the The Citizen's Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice of the world's most unsafe cities, the only three not from the Americas in the top 50 were in South Africa, with Cape Town at 11th overall with a homicide rate of 66.36 per 100,000 residents.

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