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Unclear if SANDF deployment on Cape Flats to be extended

Military and defence analyst Helmoed Heitman said a wider set of policing measures was needed if the deployment was extended.

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 – The South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) deployment mandate comes to an end on Monday, but it’s not clear whether their stay will be extended.

In July, soldiers were sent in to help law enforcement agencies.

Military and defence analyst Helmoed Heitman said that a wider set of policing measures was needed if the deployment was extended.

“If it’s just the army walking up and down like everything’s back to normal, then it’s hardly worth it.”

Heitman believed that a coordinated response between the different spheres of government and community groups was needed to address the issue of gangs.

“It’s not just in the Western Cape. There are other cities as well where they can use similar measures. This needs a coordinated approach with all agencies involved.”

He said the army should be used to tactfully facilitate improved police crime intelligence.

“The only reason to extend the deployment would be if there’s a genuine plan with Crime Intelligence, maybe with other crime intelligence agencies as well.”

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