South African military set to deploy against Cape Town gangs

A man with his child walk between two South African soldiers as they provide security for police during a raid in Manenberg South Africa Thursday

This includes a station commander and a head of visible policing.

He said the people of the Western Cape needed the army "because they want safety".

Soldiers have been used in similar missions before but violence has peaked in recent months in the sprawling townships.

In a statement, the SANDF confirmed that it had been tasked and authorised to deploy various SANDF elements to render assistance to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in the identified crime-ridden hotspots in the Western Cape.

After initially reporting the deployment would begin today, the army has stalled while necessary paperwork is carried out.

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This follows a bloody weekend in Philippi and Hanover Park, which saw 13 lives taken in supposedly hit-style murders.

"We'll do that at Khayelitsha, Philippi, East Harare, Gugulethu, Mfuleni, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, Bishop Lavis, Delft, Elsies River, Nyanga.where people have been dying", Cele told MPs. Bheki Cele, the Police Minister, said the military deployment would last three months and see troops backing up police officers. "It is on that score than I challenge all generals in the South African police to surrender their uniforms if this situation does not improve".

Cape Town, a global tourist destination with stunning coastal and mountain scenery, has the highest murder rate in the country according to the latest official crime figures. "This means that many of our most vulnerable residents in the province are living in a war zone", Fritz said after more than a dozen murders over one weekend last month.

But, deploying the army, which occurs regularly over the festive season when crime spikes and soldiers back up normal policing activities, is not a lasting solution, analysts said.

Many wealthy people live in fortified homes with high walls topped with electrical wires, CCTV monitoring and armed guards.

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