News24 Wire
Wire Service
1 minute read
10 Jan 2020
10:26 am

Why were soldiers patrolling Kimberley’s streets? Don’t ask us, says ANC

News24 Wire

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini says the soldiers shouldn't have been patrolling the streets.

File image: Members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) patrol Dunoon during violent taxi protests on October 01, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais)

The ANC has denied any knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the deployment of the army to Kimberley, where the party is celebrating its 108th birthday this week.

News24 spotted several SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldiers – armed and in full army gear – patrolling the Northern Cape capital.

The ANC’s top six and members of its national executive committee are crisscrossing the province, mobilising support and visiting communities.

TimesLive reported that it was only after questions were sent to a SANDF spokesperson that the soldiers were recalled.

SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini told the publication the soldiers shouldn’t have been patrolling the streets.

When asked if the ANC had any hand in the matter, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the only “army” the ANC had was its marshals.

“Any other arrangement that does not fall within the ANC, the ANC will not necessarily be able to account for such.”

He said the ANC was largely dependent on its own machinery, adding that the party thanked volunteers for ensuring safety during door-to-door campaigning.

Senior ANC leaders, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and his deputy, David Mabuza, have been interacting closely with community members throughout the week.

No incidents of violence or threats to safety have been reported.

The SANDF may only assist the police in limited, non-military tasks, which include tackling crimes that pose a threat to the constitutional order, border protection and serious crimes.

The president has to authorise the deployment of the army.

Last July, Ramaphosa approved the deployment of the SANDF to parts of the Western Cape when violence escalated to unprecedented levels.

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