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What you said: President Ramaphosa was right to deploy army to restore calm & order

13 July 2021 - 08:30 By cebelihle bhengu
A police officer stands in a debris-strewn Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg. Protests that started in KwaZulu-Natal have spread to Gauteng. File photo.
A police officer stands in a debris-strewn Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg. Protests that started in KwaZulu-Natal have spread to Gauteng. File photo.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

A decision by the cabinet to deploy the army in areas affected by protests and acts of violence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal received overwhelming support on Monday.

TimesLIVE ran a poll asking readers what they thought of the decision to call in the military.

88% said those responsible for acts of violence and destruction must be held to account, 7% said the army would make a volatile situation even worse, and 5% said they would watch and see how everything unfolds over the next few days.

Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have been ravaged by violence and looting, which started with protests against the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court.

Supporters in KwaZulu-Natal mobilised last week calling for Zuma's release, but the demonstrations quickly spread to Gauteng and escalated into the destruction of property and looting across both provinces.

In a national address on Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the cabinet would deploy the army to quell the unrest. He called for calm and condemned the widespread violence. 

“As the commander-in-chief of the SA Defence Force, I have today authorised the deployment of defence force personnel in support of the operations of the SA Police Service.  

“The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure — known as Natjoints — has intensified deployments in all the affected areas in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng,” said Ramaphosa.

On Twitter, readers had mixed views on the deployment of the army. While some supported it, others called on the government to engage civilians and hear their grievances.


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