- Military personnel in the South African National Defence Force has been given strict instructions to no fire warning shots at civilians
- Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula says an additional 25 000 soldiers will be deployed to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal
- Soldiers are also instructed to exercise restraint when dealing with the public and interacting with the media
The South African National Defence Force has given soldiers deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal specific instructions on how to handle civil unrest in the country. Soldiers have been expressly prohibited from firing warning shots when dispersing crowds engaging in riots and looting.
The code of conduct for Operation Prosper was published on Wednesday and it stated that they are not allowed to assault members of the public and are further encouraged to exercise personal restraint, according to Business Insider.
SANDF military personnel are also prohibited from swearing when communicating with members of the general public or interacting with the media.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) on Monday night, dubbed Operation Prosper.
Operation Prosper initially deployed 2 500 soldiers in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, however, by Wednesday the government confirmed that an additional 2 500 soldiers were deployed in the two provinces.
Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula later stated that 25 000 more soldiers were deployed in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal to assist law enforcement officials, according to a report by IOL.
Mapisa-Nqakula stated that Ramaphosa wanted 10 000 more boots on the ground while opposition parties suggested that an additional 75 000 soldiers be deployed in areas experiencing high levels of violence and looting.
Mapisa-Nqaku further stated that the situation in KwaZulu-Natal was dire. She said that when the army arrived in the province a few days ago, they protected key national points and did not expect the malls to be attacked.
SA unrest and looting makes international news as vigilantism takes over
Briefly News recently reported that international reports have revealed that senior officials in South Africa have asked ordinary citizens within the country to not take the law into their own hands. Vigilante groups from KZN and Gauteng have formed over the past few days to protect areas from looting and violent protests.
The violence has swathed the country as thousands of soldiers have been deployed to help the South African Police Services on the streets. Law enforcement agencies, at the moment, seem to be unable to curb the onslaught and attacks by large crowds on various areas.
UK publication The Times, reported that the chaos was trigger by the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. The country spiralled into one of the worst unrests it has had since the end of the Apartheid regime.
A number of warehouses, businesses and shops have been vandalised by looters while some were set ablaze.
Government reports state that at least 72 people have lost their lives in the violence while around 1 750 people have been arrested.
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Source: Briefly News