Defence and military veterans minister Nosiviwe Maphisa Nqakula says the 1 000 defence force soldiers who have been deployed to help police establish order at Lonmin's platinum mine at Marikana in North West, will stay until the situation is stable.
Speaking at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria, Nqakula says she is grateful the strike at Marikana is over and described it as a very dangerous situation. Police took a tough stance against armed striking miners at the weekend using rubber bullets and teargas to disperse them, and seizing thousands of weapons.
Nqakula explains, "For as long there are pockets of instability, we will keep the defence force deployed there. The defence force is not an active service. They were not part of the search and seizure operation, that's the responsibility of the police. For as long as there is instability anywhere in the country, and there is a need for the defence force, it will be deployed."
Nqakula will officially open the Africa Aerospace Defence 2012 exhibition which kicks off today.