The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has given President Cyril Ramaphosa until close of business on Tuesday to clarify the deployment of soldiers to violence hotspots.
In an urgent letter from the EFF’s lawyers, sent last night, the party asks the president to clarify the legal basis for the deployment of the national defence force, the powers the soldiers will have at places of unrest and a copy of an agreement between the South African Police Service and the SANDF.
The party says this is to ensure that South Africans don’t go through the trauma they went through at the start of the coronavirus lockdown in 2020 when the army’s deployment left several people dead.
Addressing the nation on Monday night, Ramaphosa announced that government is mobilising all security resources to restore order to the areas affected by violence.
Protestors have been taking to the streets in the last few days, demanding the release of former president, Jacob Zuma, after his incarceration last week. The demonstrations have morphed into mass looting and vandalism, mostly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
No soldiers on our streets! Otherwise, we are joining. All fighters must be ready… they won’t kill us all. We need a political solution to a political problem, not soldiers.#NoToSoldiers
The EFF’s National Spokesperson, Vuyani Pambo, has slammed Ramaphosa’s handling of the ongoing protests, saying it shows a lack of political leadership.
“The army is not the solution. There is a lack of political leadership in this country. We would not be where we are if Ramaphosa is truly the commander in chief. We are dealing with a president who has not met the looters, he has not gone on the ground. He is scared of the very people that he claims to be a president of. Every road is being closed because Ramaphosa has no plan. Now soldiers are being deployed. Why are they being deployed when there is political leadership,” adds Pambo.