South Africa’s military calls up army reserves

The military forces in South Africa have called up all members of the army reserve and ordered them to report to their units amid the ongoing unrest in the country.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) said the reserve army members were to “report for duty at first light on [Thursday] morning”.

“The members are to report ready with their necessary equipment,” the statement added.

It came as the government announced an increase in its deployment of troops to 25,000, 10 times more than originally proposed, to help quell the violence.

Soldiers were first deployed on Monday to help the police who have been overstretched since the unrest began last week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has been accused of being too slow to send them in – with only 2,500 troops initially compared to the 70,000 he deployed to enforce a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 last year.

Protests which began last week after former President Jacob Zuma handed himself into police to serve a 15-month sentence for contempt of court have descended into violence and looting, with at least 72 people killed

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