SANDF lands in Cape Town

South Africa to deploy soldiers to Cape Town as homicides soar

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed on Friday the deployment of a battalion under the "Operation PROSPER" codename for a period of three months, July to October, to the violence-plagued areas of Cape Town and surrounds.

The DA's Shadow Minister of Police Andrew Whitfield said the reality is that poorer communities are easy targets for gangs and gang violence.

"People were removed from their homes and dumped far away to areas where there was nothing, no society no shops, nothing", said Jakkie Cilliers, head of African Futures & Innovation at South Africa's influential Institute for Security Studies.

The deployment of several hundred soldiers to unidentified crime hotspots will happen from July to October.

National Police Minister Bheki Cele got the nod from President Cyril Ramaphosa to deploy troops to the Western Cape.

Six women and five men were found shot dead.

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He said "extraordinary measures" were required as murders in the Western Cape province had soared by 6.3 percent from 3,729 to 3,963 during the year to April 2019.

"We believe that by the time that time comes, we would have normalised the situation and we'll sustain that through normal policing", he said.

Cape Town, a worldwide tourist destination with stunning coastal and mountain scenery, has the highest murder rate in the country according to the latest official crime figures.

In a report this year by the The Citizen's Council for Public Security and Criminal Justice of the world's most unsafe cities, the only three not from the Americas in the top 50 were in South Africa, with Cape Town at 11th overall with a homicide rate of 66.36 per 100,000 residents.

Last year, over 20,000 people were murdered in South Africa - 57 per day - and Cele has described the country as "close to the war zone".

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