To enforce lockdown regulations at the beginning of the lockdown, the army was deployed by the South African government. But that only led to brutality and violations of human rights by members of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF).
It is no secret that the country has failed to enforce lockdown regulations for the past three months. From staying at home to the ban on alcohol, the country has failed and it is uncertain what or who to look up to for leadership in this pandemic. Township streets have been filled with kids playing games and people not wearing masks. Others have pointed out that isolation and social-distancing is impossible in spaces that are overcrowded such as townships and informal settlements.
The SANDF came out in a group of six and has patrolled Orange Farm (45 km south of Johannesburg). The operation has been going on since the beginning of July and it is unclear how long it will last. Members of the SANDF can be seen in parks, shopping malls and other points of attraction within the community, but their presence has decreased in some areas.
On 3 August 2020, members of the SANDF caught a person who was selling cigarettes by the mall. The sale of cigarettes was prohibited until 18 August and one could face up to three months in jail for breaking the law. Instead of arresting the man, the soldiers told him to throw the cigarettes out of the boxes and onto the ground, which he did. The SANDF then stepped on them to destroy them with their boots. The soldiers gave him a few claps and told him to leave the area. As the man ran down the street, members of the community watched on.
This article was submitted on 9 August 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.