Mapisa-Nqakula: 25k troops needed for KZN, Gauteng looting mayhem

Mapisa-Nqakula: 25k troops needed for KZN, Gauteng looting mayhem

Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says more troops are needed on the ground to respond to the spate of violence and looting. 

SANDF ARMY deployed to Alex in unrest
Sibahle Motha

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) was deployed to violence-torn KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng earlier this week.

The army joined other members of the security cluster, including police and metro police as well as private security.

But the security forces still seemed to be outnumbered by the undeterred looters.

Mapisa-Nqakula told President Cyril Ramaphosa, the SANDF commander-in-chief, on Tuesday that the 2500 troops were not enough.

“The talk of the deployment happened even though there were not papers submitted to Parliament. It was because of the emergency of the situation. 

“Immediately we had to make sure in our small way that we had a few soldiers on the road while we work out all these other matters,” she told Parliament’s defence committee following a meeting with Ramaphosa and leaders of the opposition parties.

It’s understood the various political parties were also not impressed with the initial deployment.

“The president then made a proposal that let us rather escalate the number to 10,000 and that was last night and as we were preparing documents this morning for the President’s signature for 10,000 then the opposition parties unanimously made a proposal that the president should increase the numbers to a strength of plus/minus 75,000 including members of the Reserve Force,” Mapisa-Nqakula explained. 

“We discussed with the president after that meeting that we don’t have to say 75,000 but we should also not keep to the 10,000 and that we should rather find a middle way.

“We have now submitted a request for plus/ minus 25,000 members.”

Mapisa-Nqakula admitted KZN still poses the biggest problem.

“The situation is very bad in KZN and it has been very bad for the past two days.”

At least 1000 troops are in KZN with 800 of those already on the ground in Durban. 

Mapisa-Nqakula vowed to ensure more visibility of troops. 

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