JOHANNESBURG - South Africans have been warned not to taunt or test soldiers deployed to enforce the 21-day lockdown.
SANDF Commander-in-Chief Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered the soldiers to conduct their mission with respect and humility.
He's reminded them they're not entering hostile territory.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said soldiers will complement the SAPS deployment and have been told to be patient with irate citizens.
“They will advise and hopefully people will not defy," she said.
"I don’t think really people should be provocative because if you don’t want to comply with the regulation set out, honestly you are challenging and testing the state itself.
"And the purpose here is to protect our people from the virus.”
Mapisa-Nqakula said the SANDF's deployment will focus on hotspots where most cases of COVID-19 have been recorded.
The minister confirmed that if the 21-day lockdown fails to curb the spread of coronavirus, it may be extended.