Defense and Veterans Affairs Minister Thandi Modise said the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) stands ready to provide law enforcement support to help maintain stability in the country.
“SANDF will continue to be on high alert to protect all national key points, as well as the economic corridors of the country, from any disruption or blockage, resulting either from the protest of truckers or from any disruptive element.
“The SANDF continues to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic and as such, continues to carry out operations to secure the borders – in particular the land borders. This is in order to curb the cross-border movements of undocumented migrants, illicit goods and drugs, weapons, livestock and stolen vehicles.
“The defense forces have recorded spectacular successes in this regard by intercepting many luxury cars smuggled into neighboring countries and intercepting drug trafficking,” she told a press conference in the city. Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster on Sunday.
The Minister said that in addition to assisting law enforcement agencies, SANDF also assists in bridge construction by leveraging the capability of South African Army engineers for the rural bridge program from Welisizwe.
“These bridges will help stop school children drowning while trying to cross swollen rivers to get to school and will help pensioners access their retirement benefits. We have already built 16 bridges in KwaZulu-Natal and 18 in the Eastern Cape, and thus enabled thousands of people to cross dangerous rivers to reach clinics, schools and other service delivery centres.
“In the months and years to come, we will intensify this program, in accordance with the marching orders of the Commander-in-Chief.”
According to Modise, at least 2,000 new recruits are expected to join the ranks of the SANDF in the first weeks of March, a move which she says should “ensure that we have a defense that is well equipped, combat ready and able to stand up”. fulfill its constitutional mandate”.
rule of law
Modise said the JCPS cluster flagged “deliberate undermining of the rule of law” during the protests as a matter of concern.
“Our position is very clear on this: our officers will enforce the rule of law without fear or favor where people willfully undermine the authority of the state. No one has the right, regardless of their grievances or dissatisfaction with anything, to break the right right.
“[As] Security Cluster Ministers, we are committed to creating a safe and enabling environment that will reassure both the citizens of this country and international tourists and investors that they will be safe when they come to do business in this country.
“We therefore call on all peace-loving people in this country to work with us as we transform and improve the security mechanisms that will serve us all without fear or favor.”
Another cluster concern is the “low level of trust” between members of the public and law enforcement.
“We will therefore work to rebuild trust between officers deployed in communities and community members. This will include reviving community policing forums, which will work with local police stations to tackle crime. inclusive approach to assess the threats that exist in communities and put in place the necessary responses,” said Modise.
Meanwhile, the JCPS cluster welcomed the enactment of the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act, the Criminal Law (Sex Offenses and Related Matters) Amendment Act and the Domestic Violence Amendment Act .
The three new pieces of legislation were enacted in an effort to secure more prosecutions in cases related to gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
Modise said thousands of members of the South African police service have undergone training to deal with crime against women and children.
“The Police Department has trained more than 90,000 officers in an effort to support the decline in sexual offending. [SAPS] set up GBVF desks in police stations in all provinces, which will be managed by trained GBVF desk officers.
“It is expected that these GBVF offices will be finalized by the end of March this year and the government will prioritize identified GBVF hotspots,” she said.
(With contributions from the South African government press release)