The South African parliament has announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorized the deployment of 10,000 military to secure next week’s local government elections.
According to AFP, the military will assist the police in ensuring “a safe and secure environment” for Monday’s municipal councillor and mayor elections, according to a statement released on Wednesday from the National Assembly.
The polls come after fatal riots and looting in July, which were precipitated by former President Jacob Zuma’s imprisonment.
The police were overwhelmed by the unexpected rioting, requiring the deployment of 25,000 troops.
The deployment will begin on Saturday and will last five days.
Since the campaign began, eight people have died, largely councillor candidates, according to police, but the polling day itself is likely to be peaceful.
However, the July protests, which began as a show of support for Zuma before escalating into violent rioting and commercial looting, exposed the underlying social and economic realities of ordinary South Africans.
The African National Congress-led government, which has controlled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, is battling to restore public support after suffering its greatest electoral setback in 2016 during local elections.