“We agreed that we don't have to say 75,000 but not keep it at 10,000 which the president had proposed — but we should rather find a middle way. So we have now submitted a request for deployment of about 25,000 members. We tried to find a middle way between 75,000 and 10,000. We will start with 25,000,” she said.
Mapisa-Nqakula described the situation in KwaZulu-Natal as “very bad”.
She said there were no less than 1,000 soldiers deployed in that province and about 800 were in Durban.
Mapisa-Nqakula said when the deployment started, it focused on national key points.
“It was like guard duties in areas like in Port Shepstone where you have oil refineries and at the airports. That's what we thought we needed to do which was a discussion which was held between the police and the army,” she said.
But people started attacking the malls, something the government had not anticipated.
“Our soldiers were not at the malls. Our agreement was that we [army] do guard duty, so that we can release the police to enforce the law and deal with people who were carrying out acts of criminality. That's the only reason we were not at the malls,” she said.