South Africa on the brink as Ramaphosa deploys military ahead of nationwide shutdown

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JOHANNESBURG – Parliament Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces chairperson Amos Masondo have confirmed that they received a letter from the head of state that thousands of soldiers have been deployed across the country before the shutdown.

The government has taken a step of sending soldiers to various parts of the country to avoid any damage to infrastructure and other key installations.

Parliament said President Cyril Ramaphosa told the two presiding officers that more than 3 400 soldiers had been deployed from this weekend until April 17.

When riots happened in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng the government sent in soldiers.

The government is expected to spend over R166 million for the deployment of the army for the period set out by the president.

Ramaphosa’s deployment of the army was to ensure that citizens were protected against any violence after threats were made, Vincent Magwenya, the president’s spokesperson, said.

“The correspondence to the presiding officers, dated March 17, indicated that 3 474 members of the SANDF have been deployed, effective from March 17 to April 17. The employment is in line with section 201(2) of the Constitution and section 19 of the Defence Act. An amount of R166 562 058 is expected to be incurred for this deployment,” said Parliament.