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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

SANDF on high alert: Is SA on the verge of anarchy?

A leaked memo says South Africa is gradually deteriorating into unrest due to criminality within the borders.

The author behind an internal SA Army and South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) memo that places battalions on high alert in case of potential volatile unrest, has denied the document was issued by her.

The leaked internal memo states the ‘situation in the Republic of South Africa is gradually deteriorating into unrest due to criminality that is taking place with the borders,’ which has been exacerbated by a perceived lack of action from security forces to combat criminality.

“It is foreseen that the SANDF might be called to play their secondary role, and in this case, it will be to support or cooperate with the South African Police Services (SAPS).

“It is in this regard, the SA Army Infantry Formation has been ordered to go on 25-hour standby in anticipation of deploying in support or cooperation with the Saps,” reads the document.

But, when asked to verify the memo’s authenticity, author Colonel MS Rampai, downplayed its contents, saying the document was fake.

While Colonel Rampai insisted the internal memo was not issued by her, she passed the buck to SANDF spokesperson Brigadier Andries Mahapa, who confirmed its legitimacy.

However, he did not clarify when the army would be deployed.

“The warning order in question is part of the internal process regarding the military drills and cannot be discussed with the public until the authority is given by the Chief of the SANDF,” Mahapa said.

ALSO READ: “SA is ungovernable, criminals have taken over” – David Makhura

The current volatile climate was echoed by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Sunday, 7 August, a day after the internal memo was purportedly issued.

The Citizen also contacted Makhura about the memo, but his phone went to voice mail.
Makhura’s job is currently on the line as he faces a motion of no confidence by the DA in the Gauteng Legislature on Monday.

Addressing Kagiso residents on Sunday, Makhura said criminals, including the zama zamas have taken over South Africa, and ‘the country has become ungovernable’.

In his address, Makhura called for ‘armed branches of the state’ to ‘deal with zama zamas.

“We need the armed response of our state. We need to organise all the security capacity of our democratic state to respond in a way we have not done before. Our country is ungovernable. The criminals have taken over.”

Makhura also told residents he is worried about the safety and security of Gauteng.

“Illegal miners, the zama zamas are contributors to huge violent crime in our country right now. They have moved beyond the operations.

“They are stripping electricity infrastructure. They are interfering with underground infrastructure. The security of the state is at great risk.”

Last July, South Africa was hit by a wave of devastating violence that left over 350 people dead and cost billions in economic damage.

What started out as protests against the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma for defying an apex court order soon turned out to be widescale rioting and looting.

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated that businesses in the city suffered losses amounting to R70 billion and counting.

The order for the deployment of SANDF troops comes directly from the first citizen and SANDF commander-in-chief, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Citizen has contacted Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya for clarity. We will update the story if and when an official response is received.

ALSO READ: Kagiso residents vow to continue search for zama zamas