'Army should only stay on Cape Flats if police have crime intelligence plan'

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.

If it's just the army walking up and down and sitting on a heap of things for a while, then it's hardly worth it.

Helmoed Heitman, Military and Defence Analyst at Jane's Defence Weekly

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has requested an extension of the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

The army's two-month presence comes to an end on Monday and it remains unclear if the extension will be granted.

Many Cape Flats residents say not much has changed since the SANDF was rolled out in the community as part of efforts to restore peace in the area.

Read: SANDF must extend Cape Flats deployment, says W Cape govt

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

The real long-term solution has to be a combination of good policing and doing something about the socio-economic problem.

Helmoed Heitman, Military and Defence Analyst at Jane's Defence Weekly

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

Helmoed Heitman, Military and Defence Analyst at Jane's Defence Weekly

Meanwhile, SANDF spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini says the Minister of Police and the Minister of Defence will help President Cyril Ramaphosa decide whether the army deployment should be extended.

Dlamini explains that the SANDF has been positioned to support the SA Police Service (Saps) as it conducts policing.

He says the deployment of the SANDF has successfully helped lead to several arrests and the confiscation of drugs and firearms.

We've cleaned some parts of the area and we view that as quite successfully.

Siphiwe Dlamini, Head of Communications - Department of Defence

Listen to Africa Melane's discussion with Helmoed Heitman:

Listen to Africa Melane's discussion with Siphiwe Dlamini:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Army should only stay on Cape Flats if police have crime intelligence plan'


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