College of Law

The military, the enforcement and the coronavirus

Angelo Dube, associate professor in Unisa’s Department of International Law and Chief Editor of the South African Yearbook of International Law, recently published a blogpost on the challenges of deploying the army in civilian Covid-19 policing operations from a South African perspective.

He writes that, like other governments across the globe, South Africa imposed strict limitations on the rights of citizens, particularly on freedom of movement, during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the clear provisions in the lockdown regulations, security personnel had to contend with brazen lockdown violators, particularly in the major cities such as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. These cities are situated in provinces which at one point or another were the Covid-19 hotspots of the country.

The South African Government deployed members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist police in law enforcement operations. This was the first time a very large contingent of the army (almost 76 000 members) was deployed to assist in civilian operations. Needless to say, this raised legal questions around the suitability of the army for civilian law enforcement operations.

Read the full article here.

* Submitted by Ngwako Mokgotho, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Law

Publish date: 2020/09/16