WATCH: The role of SANDF during lockdown

The SANDF are being deployed to support the police during the 21 day lockdown. For more on the story we're joined by military and defence analyst, Helmoed Heitman. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - The army will be deployed to support the South African Police Service to enforce the nationwide lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphhosa announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown from midnight on Thursday.

Military analyst Helmoed Heitman said the role of SANDF members could vary, depending on the assistance needed by the police.

"They have been talking about closing down parts of road network, to prevent people from moving much. For instance, the army could man vehicle checkpoints.

READ: COVID-19: 21-days lockdown explained

The other stuff includes if the police have a problem somewhere and they could help them with that but it could go beyond that if there is an unrest problem then because people assume the shops will run out of stocks and they could be deployed to protect shops and hospitals", said Heitman.

Heitman said there is no reason for people to fear because the army will most likely be using minimum force.

"I would think it would be a minimum force, as normal. Bear in mind this is not a Section 19 deployment, which is in support of the police. It is also Section 18 in humanitarian aid situation.

Most of their work will not include force", he added.

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