Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appealed to the troops from the South African Defence Force (SANDF) not to use excessive force when engaging members of tlhe public.
Speaking to the SABC on Monday morning, the minister said the military should remember that they have been deployed to protect the citizenry and not abuse them.
She further urged communities not to provoke law enforcement officials deployed in the wake of the nationwide lockdown, called on them to stay at home and for members of the security personnel to “not allow themselves to be pushed to the edge by people who are trying to prove a point”.
Nqakula’s comments come after numerous videos surfaced n on social media, showing troops roughing up South Africans who fail comply the with 21-day lockdown regulations. The minister said she was not happy about the videos.
Mapisa-Nqakula dismissed complaints that the army was more visible in the country’s black townships compared to the suburbs. “We are all over the place where there is a high concentration of people,” the minister said.