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Still no word from Presidency on SANDF deployment in CT

In October, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula promised there would be boots on the ground before Christmas.

FILE: Members of the SANDF gather outside a blocks of flats in a known gang area in Ottery, Cape Town, during a Fiela Operation conducted during the early hours of the morning. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Communities in Cape Town are still waiting on the Presidency to deploy soldiers to fight gang violence.

In October, Police Minister Fikile Mbalula promised there would be boots on the ground before Christmas.

However, last month the new National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole revealed that he had discussions with the minister about putting the plan on hold to give his new crime vision a chance.

It appears the new police commissioner's crime-fighting plan has trumped the minister's.

Two months ago, Mbalula told Eyewitness News they were waiting on the president to sign off on the SANDF deployment.

“It is going to happen, we are processing it in terms of operational plan. Thereafter the president will give us a green light. It is going to happen, it will happen before Christmas.”

It is now three days before Christmas and there is still no word from the Presidency.

This year there appears to have been a surge in gang shootings and killings in various communities including Manenberg, Mitchells Plain, Hanover Park, Philippi East and Nyanga.

NO DATE

Earlier this month, Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi said that they would not announce the precise date for the army deployment.

The Defence Ministry said a lengthy process must be carried out, which includes feasibility studies, before a request is sent to President Jacob Zuma, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Mkongi said no exact dates would be given.

“If we’re coming to the Western Cape, we can’t make the announcement; we’ll be giving the criminals a hint. We can’t. We want to find them when they are not prepared.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)