Opposition leaders are asking the ANC to clear-up remarks made by one of their ministers on Monday. Fikile Mbalula, who heads-up the Department of Transport, alluded to a possible SANDF deployment in Cape Town. However, his words lacked any real substance.
Will there be a SANDF deployment in Cape Town?
There have been a few close calls in terms of SANDF deployment in 2022. Sending soldiers onto the streets maintain law and order is a highly contentious and divisive policy. Yesterday, Minister Mbalula suggested that the army could potentially find itself active in Cape Town.
Their purpose would be to ensure that upgrades to the Central Line are carried out in full. Criminal gangs have raided the railways in recent months, threatening and extorting PRASA employees who are – quite literally trying to get Cape Town’s train travel back on track.
Mbalula says he has held discussions with Defence Minister Thandi Modise about sending in SANDF. But it’s not something the DA are fully on-board with. Not until they have been given more of the facts, anyway.
‘Send in the troops’ – Mbalula challenged over army claims
Ricardo MacKenzie is the Western Cape’s Spokesperson for Transport. He caught wind of Mbalula’s utterances yesterday. The local politician has asked Mbaks to ‘clarify’ these remarks, considering that he made AND broken grandiose promises like these before.
“Mbalula confirmed yesterday during a press briefing that he had been in discussions with Defence Minister, Thandi Modise, and alluded to the possible deployment of SANDF on the Central Line where gangsters are engaging in extortion and intimidation of PRASA employees.”
“The possible deployment of SANDF soldiers to assist in law enforcement at the Central Line (so upgrades can be carried out) is not only a serious intervention, but also confirmation that SAPS and PRASA’s own interventions are not working.”
“This is not the first time Minister Mbalula has made grand announcements to deal with security issues, with no feasible action plans. It is for this reason that the DA in the Western Cape urges the Minister to be transparent and to clarify his comments.” | Ricardo MacKenzie