SANDF to follow legal procedures

The SANDF says there are legal processes involved before the army can be deployed in Cape Town.

An eight-year-old boy, who was killed by gangs in Steenberg, was laid to rest on 28 June 2012. Picture: Nathan Adams/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Defence Department on Monday said there were legal processes involved before the army can be deployed inside the country's borders.

The department's Siphiwe Dlamini said if President Jacob Zuma has received Premier Helen Zille's request, he would contact the ministry directly.

"The president would be advised accordingly by both the minister and the chief of the SANDF when they've made an assessment."

Zille said she had written to Zuma asking him to deploy the army in gang affected areas.

Many Cape communities have been battling an increase in gang related violence in recent months.

Over the weekend a three-year-old girl was shot six times in Hanover Park.

In a separate incident, an eight-year-old boy was shot dead in a gang crossfire in Steenberg.

Zille believes the army is the only hope in dealing with the problem.

Meanwhile, Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has been calling for the reintroduction of the specialised gang unit to deal with gangsterism and drug abuse.

At the same time, South Africa's new Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has been called on to reopen the specialised narcotics units.

Primedia's Yusuf Abramjee made the call at the fifth birthday celebration of the Crime Line initiative in Johannesburg on Monday.

Phiyega, Gauteng provincial commissioner Mzwandile Petros, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and Minister Trevor Manuel are among the guests.

Abramjee said the fight against crime must intensify.

"While we celebrate the 3,000 arrest mark and the R41 million worth of seizures, I say to you that it's not enough. The figures for me, are far too low. We need more tip offs from the community. We need more arrests and we need more prosecutions."

As a demonstration, two sniffer dogs combed the room showing off their skills at finding dagga hidden in a book and a piece of rhino horn stuffed inside a teddy bear.