DEFENCE and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said today that the army would be only sent into Tshwane as a last resort.
“The situation is assessed on a daily basis and depending on the outcome of that assessment we will make a choice on whether to deploy the SANDF or not. The army are a last line. We have the police deployed across the country,” she said at a press briefing in Pretoria.
She added that 20 criminal cases had been registered since a wave of violence swept over Tshwane.
Several areas emerged as flashpoints of violence, in a backlash against the announcement of Thoko Didiza as the ANC’s mayoral candidate.
The townships of Attridgeville and Soshanguve in Tshwane were widely considered to be no-go areas as residents took to the streets to protest, blockading roads in the process.
Several reports of looting of businesses were also reported in these kasis.
“We have noted the criminal elements who have taken advantage of this situation. No public area shall be turned into a no-go zone,” Mapisa-Nqakula said.
“The destruction of property and chaos we have witnessed is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue. We have seen buses burnt and roads barricaded, but as we are talking now, everything is fine. Government is calling for calm and we are responding to the situation.”
She warned people not to be fooled by false social media messages and to wait for official announcements, should they be necessary.