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Cape Flats army deployment could end in 16 days

It remains unclear whether the soldiers will remain on the ground for longer.

A grandfather holds his baby up to greet a soldier as SAPS and members of the SANDF conduct crime-fighting operations in Manenberg. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN – There are only 16 days to go before the end of SANDF’s official deployment mandate on the Cape Flats.

It remains unclear whether the soldiers will remain on the ground for longer.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula told a women’s month parade in Tshwane that the decision to extend the deployment had not yet been taken.

Military and defence analyst Helmoed Heitman said the deployment was never a long-term solution, but he said the initial deployment time seemed a little short, given the complexity of the situation in gang-plagued areas.

“I would think that they should stay for around six months. This gives plenty of time for things to calm down and to stabilise communities. It also gives time for social workers to go in and assist.”