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Presidency still deciding on Mbalula’s request to deploy SANDF

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in October requested the help of soldiers to assist the South African Police Service with crime fighting.

FILE: An SANDF soldier patrols near Parliament ahead of the arrival of President Jacob Zuma for the opening ceremony of the State Of The Nation Address. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Presidency is still to decide whether the South African Defence Force (SANDF) will be deployed to gang hotspots across the country.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in October requested the help of soldiers to assist the South African Police Service with crime fighting.

President Jacob Zuma, as Commander-In-Chief of the army, has the final say if and when soldiers can be deployed.

It's been eight weeks since Mbalula's request and still there's no clear direction from the Presidency on the matter.

Numerous requests to officials for clarity have been futile.

Mbalula is seeking the rollout of soldiers to communities peppered with criminality in the Western Cape, Port Elizabeth, Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal.

He earlier this month said that the South African National Defence Force will be deployed before Christmas.

The army will be linked to specific police-driven operations over this period.