News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
1 minute read
8 Jun 2017
11:06 am

We only received request for assistance this morning – defence force

Gosebo Mathope

The defence force clarified it simply could not deploy its emergency crew, as it had to be formally requested.

This photo was taken early this morning along the N2 between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. This fire has caused the closure of the N2.

The South African Defence Force (SANDF) only received a formal request for assistance this morning. The country’s ‘last line of defence’ is currently working with the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre.

This followed allegations from various quarters this morning that the defence force had been reluctant to help and needed two days to prepare for the emergency operation in Knysna.

Spokesperson for the SANDF Siphiwe Dlamini told The Citizen that they had only received the request this morning at 1am.

LIVE: Knysna fire: 10 000 forced to flee

Dlamini emphasised that the defence force had “to be deployed” to assist in emergency responses.

“We are part of the Western Cape provincial joint operations centre, and everything we do is in partnership with other structures in the province,” he said.

Dlamini said this morning’s request included “water-bombing, ground troops to assist the police to prevent criminal elements taking advantage of the evacuated areas and water bunkers to ensure fire engines do not travel long distances”.


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