South Africans have been calling for the SANDF to assist police in combating the epidemic of crime, particularly zama zamas (illegal miners).
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi joined the calls for army deployment, saying the province was under siege.
According to the Department of Mineral Resources, unlawful mining has cost the economy and mining sector R49 billion.
“Finally there is a clear commitment from the highest office in our country; I presented that on behalf of the ANC.
Not only the army, we need all law enforcement agencies, the army, police, metro police to ensure that we protect South Africans. Gauteng is under siege from people that are not citizens of this country, people that can’t be accounted for, people highly armed. They must go down there flush out those people down there,” said Lesufi.
He stated that several areas had become off-limits due to zama zamas.
General Rudzani Maphwanya, the SANDF’s commander, stated that if called upon, the SANDF would respond to the call to combat the plague of crime and zama zamas.
“We are today as the country grappling with issues of zama zamas and crime that is committed in our backyards. I want to reiterate today that the SANDF had taken note of all that mayhem and we have promised that, as we are currently planning together with other state agencies, we will go out there and flush them out of those holes.
“We will not give them any chance, we will take them out of our townships and we will make sure that our people are safe. Our soldiers are always ready to deploy. We have indicated that we are not going to wait, we will prepare, and should that call come we will go and flush them out like rats out of the holes,” said Maphwanya.
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— Gayton McKenzie (@GaytonMcK) August 21, 2023