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Decision on extending SANDF deployment in CT pending

In July, troops hit the streets in 10 neighbourhoods as part of operation lockdown.

SANDF soldiers on patrol in Hanover Park. The military has released their soldiers to help stabilise gang hot-spots, while law enforcement agencies conducted raids in the area. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A decision to extend the deployment of the army in gang hot spots is still pending.

In July, troops hit the streets in 10 neighbourhoods as part of Operation Lockdown.

About nine weeks ago, the army was deployed as a force enabler for the police in 10 gang-ridden areas for a three-month period.

The police ministry said that the deployment of the SANDF comes to an end next week. But before any decision is made to extend their stay, defence spokesperson Joy Peter said that various security agencies would sit down to assess the situation on the ground.

“They’ll assess whether the deployment of soldiers should continue.”

Premier Alan Winde said the current gang war was a crisis. He supports the extension of the term of the deployment of the SANDF in communities.

Winde added that while there were some results, including an increase in arrests, a major drop in crime was not reported.

“I support the extension of the SANDF, but I need to see a different approach with the deployment.”