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Inquiry into deployment of soldiers in city

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“The only army we have in the ANC are the marshals you see at ANC events. Any other arrangement, the ANC will not be able to account for that.”

THE MINISTER of Defence and Military Veterans has confirmed that a Board of Inquiry will be instituted to investigate the deployment of members of the SA National Defence Force in Kimberley at the start of the ANC’s birthday celebrations in the city.

Minister Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula was speaking in response to a parliamentary question by Dr Pieter Groenewald.

Groenewald questioned whether the President of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, had granted permission that members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) be deployed in the urban area of Kimberley with the SA Police Service at the start of the birthday celebrations of a certain organisation in January 2020.

He also asked whether any action had been taken against the specified person and if not, why not.

In her reply, Mapisa-Nqakula stated that there was no employment under section 201 of the Constitution.

“I view this matter in a very serious light and have instructed the Chief of the South African National Defence Force to institute a Board of Inquiry and to take action against those involved. I will report back to Parliament on the outcome and actions taken following the completion of the Board of Inquiry.”

At the time, the ANC distanced itself from the deployment of the army in Kimberley.

Soldiers were seen patrolling in Galeshewe where Ramaphosa had been interacting with the community. It was reported that the soldiers were ordered back to their barracks because their deployment was illegal.

The SANDF said that the police were using the barracks in and around Kimberley to house an additional contingent and that soldiers were not meant to be on the streets.

ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe said that they knew nothing about the deployment of the army.

“The only army we have in the ANC are the marshals you see at ANC events. Any other arrangement, the ANC will not be able to account for that.”