Army tanks roll into KwaZulu-Natal

South African National Defence Force tanks are starting to roll into areas in KwaZulu-Natal to help to secure hotspots in the province.

This deployment forms part of Operation PROSPER, which started on 12 July with the deployment of 2,500 South African National Defence Force (SANDF) troops in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The members of the SANDF were deployed to reinforce South African Police Service operations of restoring order in the two provinces.

Following criticism that not enough was done to protect citizens and businesses, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has requested to deploy 25,000 more members.

South African Army Chief General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha has also ordered all reserve members to report for duty.

The SANDF said the members were at first light on 15 July expected to report to their respective units for deployment.

This is one of the biggest deployments of the SANDF ever in South Africa to help law enforcement officials clamp down on the rampant looting and public violence.

This is the biggest SANDF deployment, for anything, since 1994. It far eclipses the number deployed for COVID-19 and will cost a substantial amount of money,” said African Defence Review director Darren Olivier.

“It far eclipses the number deployed for Covid-19 and will cost a substantial amount of money.”

Many people have posted photos on Twitter showing army tanks entering KwaMashu, a township 12 kilometres north of Durban.

Tanks in the streets came as President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Bridge City Mall in the KwaMashu township.

ENCA reporter Siphamandla Goge, who was at the ground during Ramaphosa’s speech in the region, said the security in the streets show “a man under siege”.

“This is a man who has been missing in action when his country is burning,” Gogo said.

The posts below show the tanks at the Bridge City Mall in KwaMashu.

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Army tanks roll into KwaZulu-Natal