South African police service arrest people for defying a nationwide lockdown in Johannesburg Friday.
The security personnel have been deployed to enforce the lockdown in a bid to curtail spread of COVID-19.
Nearly 57 million people are to be confined to their homes for three weeks.
I am sending you to go and defend our people against coronavirus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa personally visited soldiers at a military base in Soweto Township prior to their deployment.
“I am sending you to go and defend our people against coronavirus,” Ramaphosa said.
“This is unprecedented, not only in our democracy but also in the history of our country, a 21-day lockdown to go out and wage war against an invisible enemy coronavirus,” he said.
During South Africa’s lockdown, there will be no jogging, walking dogs or selling alcohol across the country, which so far has the highest number of infections reported in sub-Saharan Africa with 927 cases.
Ramaphosa believes that it will even be possible to reach 1,500 cases “in a few days”.