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With SANDF deployment due to end tomorrow, “nothing has changed”

It's been described as a waste of resources.

The South African National Defence Forces (SANDF) two-month deployment to the Western Cape comes to an end on Monday and it remains unclear if Alan Winde’s request for an extension will be granted.

Touted as a quick stabilization measure, the SANDF deployment to the Cape Flats hasn’t done much to calm fears according to residents.

“Nothing has changed,” Roegchanda Pascoe, the chairperson of the Manenberg Safety Forum, told News24.

“The same fear people felt in July when the army was deployed is what is felt today. This whole exercise was just a political ploy – a plaster that didn’t fix anything.”

According to TimesLive, The Western Cape’s murder rate increased by 14% during the army’s two-month deployment on the Cape Flats, which is due to end today.

In the 55 days between July 15 and Saturday September 8, the provincial forensic service recorded 682 murders, or 12.4 murders a day in the province.

Despite an initial show of force that saw at least 1000 people being arrested during Operation Lockdown, most of the those arrested were back on the streets within 72hours and gang violence has continued throughout the Cape Flats.

Most recently, a first-year Arts student was caught in the cross fire and killed during the bloody gang fight in Manenberg on Wednesday.

It would seem the rushed SANDF deployment hasn’t been effective enough to put a stop or at least reduce gang activity in Cape Town.

Speaking to Cape Talk, Military and defence analyst Helmoed Heitman says the deployment of the army on the Cape Flats should only be extended if a wider set of policing measures are also implemented.

Heitman says the army should be used to tactfully facilitate improved crime intelligence and better policing by local authorities

The time that the soldiers are there is the time that the police should be collecting intelligence and lifting out ring leaders.


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