Police on high alert as voting continues

Police on high alert as voting continues

Police vigilance is expected to be heightened as the sun begins to set on voting day in South Africa.

This as polls in this year’s Local Government Elections are expected to close at 9pm across the country.

National Police spokesperson, Brigadier Vish Naidoo, said officers would not be dropping their guard.

“Our deployments are informed by the three categorisations: the low, medium, to high risk areas. But the risk becomes even greater as the sun sets. It’s part of our risk planning approach. Members are being readied for the night shift,” he said.

Naidoo said apart from a few incidents slowing down voting processes in some areas, the day has been a safe one.

“There have been minor glitches taking place, which caused slight disruptions to the voting process but nothing significant that it would warrant or cause for the entire process to be brought into question,” he said.

Naidoo said some incidents of note throughout the day include:

  • The arrest and subsequent release of a journalist reporting from a voting station in Soweto.
  • Prominent politician Helen Zille opening a case of assault against a police official after an incident at a voting station in Bethelsdorp, Eastern Cape.
  • A KZN IEC official was arrested for allegedly stuffing marked ballot papers into the ballot box.
  • Disruptions at a polling station in the Alfred Nzo District in the Eastern Cape which slowed down voting.
  • In Bizana, also in the Eastern Cape, there were road closures during a protest, which were removed by police, with voting allowed to continue.
  • A 49-year-old Mamelodi man attempted to cast more votes than he was allowed to do and was subsequently arrested.

“Apart from that, there were other incidents where people were complaining that placards were being destroyed or replaced by other political parties’ placards, there were confrontations between political party representatives with charges and counter-charges opened against each other.

“But otherwise, all in all, 95% to 99%, things have been running quite smoothly,” Naidoo said. – SAnews.

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