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South Africa extends army’s Cape Town crime crackdown

South Africa extends army’s Cape Town crime crackdown

AFP
Cape Town
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday extended by six months the deployment of South African troops on the streets of Cape Town’s townships as part of a campaign against a surge in gang violence and murders.
In July, around 1,300 soldiers from the South African National Defence Force were deployed to back up police in the gang-afflicted Cape Flats areas surrounding the coastal city. While the government has called the operation a success, some Western Cape provincial officials have questioned the efficiency of deploying the army to fight crime on the streets.
“I can confirm that the president has granted extension of the defence force in the Western Cape in support of the police for the next six months,” Department of Defence spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said.
The mission had authorised the troops to be withdrawn on September 16 after a two-month period of ‘Operation Lockdown’. The new date of withdrawal has been set for March 31, 2020. Cape Town, an international tourist destination with stunning coastal scenery, and its surrounding areas, have one of the highest murder rates in the country.
According to the presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko, the decision was based on an assessment by the South African Police Service together with the department of defence on the success of the operation.

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