Deployment of soldiers requested at Majola village: Cele

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Police Minister Bheki Cele says more police will be deployed to Majola village in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, while waiting for a response from the President, with regards to dispatching an army.

Most residents say they now stay in nearby forests – fearing for their lives. More than 20 villagers have died due to the conflict, which was allegedly triggered by stock theft.

Cele says a document requesting the deployment of soldiers has been signed by his department and the defence ministry.

“We have already signed the letter, asking the President because there were a lot of requests not only today, even yesterday, and other days, of the SANDF coming here.  We have sent a letter to the president so that he’s able to come and reinforce the police but we are not going to wait for that. In 74 hours definitely, there’ll be a significant deployment of the special forces coming here.”

VIDEO: Police minister Bheki Cele at the troubled Majola village in Port St John’s:

Cele led a ministerial Imbizo at the village, where he interacted with the locals, traditional leaders as well as local and provincial government officials to find a lasting solution to the more than six-decade-long conflict.

Cele warned perpetrators that they will be arrested.

Minister Cele also says a new police station will be built in the area, and while they are waiting on the arrival of the soldiers, national intervention officers will be deployed to the area.