South Africa begins 'unprecedented' military-patrolled lockdown

South African National Defence Force soldiers march at the Doornkop Military Base in Soweto, on March 26, 2020, as they get ready to support the South African Police Service in maintaining public order during the national lockdown scheduled from March 26, 2020 until April 16, 2020. PHOTO | LUCA SOLA | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Donning camouflage uniform complete with a cap, President Cyril Ramaphosa saw off soldiers before they deployed from a military base in Soweto township outside economic hub Johannesburg.

  • "I send you out to go and defend our people against coronavirus," Ramaphosa said.

South Africa came under a nationwide military-patrolled lockdown on Friday, joining other African countries imposing strict curfews and shutdowns in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus across the continent.

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