Sharing this opinion by Gideon Joubert as shared on Facebook:
Regarding the army being deployed to the Cape Flats: (and I am tagging actual and former police officers and servicemen in this post so they can correct me where I err)
The purpose of an army is to deploy, maneuver, find the enemy, and kill them.
This is a gross oversimplification of what an army does, but it will suffice.
The emphasis is particularly high on finding and killing the enemy. This is what soldiers are trained to do. And usually to do so expeditiously and with maximum aggression, because the other side is trying their level best to wipe you out as well.
The functions and duty of police are 180-degrees removed from that of the military.
The purpose of police officers is to enforce and uphold law and order. They interact with the public in according to set procedures, and are subject to numerous complex laws and regulations that govern their powers and activities. Laws and procedures that police officers are supposed to be highly knowledgeable of, for they directly determine how daily police duties must be carried out.
To oversimplify, the police find and arrest criminals with the purpose of bringing them to justice, and must perform a myriad of tasks in support of this outcome: securing evidence and crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, etc. Any technical failure in any of these procedures can and will compromise the case.
Police officers are also trained to be conscientious in their use of force (especially lethal force), because shooting in an urban or suburban environment can lead to innocents being caught in the crossfire.
Soldiers are not proficient nor knowledgeable regarding any of the laws and regulations that govern policing activities. They are not trained and proficient in arrest technique, evidence gathering, and any other technical police functions. Soldiers are also not trained to use lethal force conscientiously as law enforcement officers in an urban environment. Because none of the aforementioned proficiencies are applicable to soldiering and warfare.
Hence deploying the army to enforce laws is a terrible idea that may have grave consequences for all involved. Law enforcement is a function of the police, hence the police should enforce the law.
The disbanding of the old gang unit, the capture and gutting of crime intelligence gathering, the tentacles of corruption and organised crime within the SAPS, and the total failure of police leadership has led to the out of control violence on the Flats. Bringing in the army will fix none of these problems.
To those who are celebrating military deployment in a law enforcement role - I hope that nothing happens to make you eat your words. Like more dead kids in the streets of Philippi, killed in the crossfire.