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Ramaphosa still needs parliament’s permission to deploy SANDF

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President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses SA National Defence Force (SANDF) members before their deployment ahead of the national Covid-19 shutdown, Pretoria, 26 March 2020. Picture: GCIS

An influential ANC member with parliamentary experience was worried that, since parliament was not sitting, it could be a problem unless an urgent session was convened.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has seven days to inform parliament about his deployment of the army to help the SA Police Service enforce the coronavirus lockdown. According to an expert, without parliament’s approval, the process could be rendered illegal or a violation of the constitution. Although Ramaphosa has the prerogative to deploy the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), he still needed to inform parliament, which must endorse or reject it within seven days. The matter would be referred to the joint standing committee on defence. Standing committee co-chair Cyril Xaba said they expected the president to give the committee a report…

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