Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

National shutdown: SANDF recalls ‘standby’ statement, awaiting NatJOINTS

Chairperson of NatJOINTS Lt. General Tebello Mosikili on Friday said the SANDF will be on standby ahead of the planned national shutdown

The South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) has recalled its statement on the deployment of soldiers during the national shutdown on Monday, 20 March saying the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) will release the overall details about the security during the planned protest.

This comes after the Chairperson of NatJOINTS Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili announced that the SANDF will be on standby ahead of the planned protest organised by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

SANDF awaiting NatJOINTS

The SANDF is on standby and will participate in the event that the situation on the ground dictates that the SANDF exercises their secondary role of supporting the SAPS, said Mosikili said during the NatJOINTS’ media briefing on Friday evening.

However, SANDF spokesperson Brigadier Andries Mahapa told The Citizen nothing has really changed.

“Precisely nothing has changed. What we did is release a statement and the NatJOINTS post the statement had to sit down and do the security assessment. Remember, SANDF is not only the security cluster involved in this.

“So, we had a meeting  yesterday with all the security cluster members whereby NatJOINTS will release the overall statement in terms of the position of the security cluster, not only the SANDF, because the SANDF does not operate in isolation from the security cluster,” Brigadier Mahapa said.

ALSO READ: National shutdown: SANDF on standby and will prioritise protection of national key points

Soldiers on standby

Brigadier Mahapa added that the soldiers are on standby.

“At the moment, the members are still on standby awaiting the finalisation of the national joint operations and then based on that we will release the soldiers to go to critical infrastructure and national key points,” Brigadier Mahapa said.

South Africans must be protected

Meanwhile, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has urged government to ensure that South Africans who are not “supportive” of the national shutdown march will be protected.

The EFF is expected to lead a nationwide protest on Monday, 20 March,

The main reasons given for the protest by the red berets include demanding the resignation of President Cyril Ramaphosa, crippling load shedding, crime, the rising cost of living and unemployment.

Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

ALSO READ: National Shutdown: SAHRC calls on government to protect citizens

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits