Troops deployed to Cape Town played peacekeeping role in DRC, Sudan

Soldiers supporting the police in Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats in August 2011. Now soldiers with peacekeeping experience in the Sudan and DRC have been deployed. File photo.
Soldiers supporting the police in Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats in August 2011. Now soldiers with peacekeeping experience in the Sudan and DRC have been deployed. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

SA National Defence Force troops who have arrived in Cape Town on Monday, have done peace-keeping in countries including Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The army troops were sent to support police in a crackdown on gang violence and criminals in parts of Cape Town.

SANDF spokesperson Brig-Gen Mafi Mgobozi said on Monday that the troops were already in Cape Town.

The troops, comprised of soldiers from different parts of the country, were undergoing "mission ready" training ahead of their official deployment.

Their deployment is expected to help police curb gang violence and killings, particularly on the Cape Flats. The troops were reportedly from 8 South African Infantry Battalion.

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During a walkabout in Philippi East in Cape Town on Sunday, police minister Bheki Cele said the army would be deployed within days.

Cele said the soldiers would be expected to support and help the police.

Speaking after a crime summit in Paarl at the weekend, Cele said police had arrested 141 suspects in Cape Town at the weekend and he was aware that gangsters were  fleeing the province.

"The gangsters are beginning to spread around. We met on Saturday in another province but we will deal with that," he said.

Cele said communities had complained they were not properly represented during the summit, therefore a second summit to address spiralling violent crime in the Western Cape would be held within two weeks.


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