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No progress on request for SANDF deployment to gang hotspots

The Police Ministry has yet to receive a response from the Presidency on their request to have the SANDF deployed to gang hotspots in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

FILE: An SANDF member guard the street next to the school in Manenberg following Operation Fiela in the area on 21 May 2015. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Presidency still hasn't received a request to deploy defence force members to gang hotspots in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula announced 10 days ago that he'll be asking for the support of soldiers in certain gang-ridden areas to bolster police efforts.

By late Wednesday, the Police Ministry had yet to receive a response from the Presidency on their request to have the SANDF deployed to gang hotspots in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

The Police Ministry’s Vuyo Mhaga said: “Not at the moment. But my understanding is that it will still happen because of the Cabinet, but not at the moment.”

There's a well-defined process for deploying the SANDF and it can only be done on the say-so of the president, as the commander in chief.

The Police Ministry has sent a formal request to the Defense Ministry, which has been received.

That ministry has told Eyewitness News it has forwarded the request to the Presidency but officials there say they've yet to receive it.

Mbalula made the call to deploy the armed forces in the Western Cape after a shooting in Philippi claimed 11 lives and made national headlines.

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