17 000 cops to police KZN voting stations.

17 000 cops to police KZN voting stations. Image: X/SAPS.

17 000 cops on duty to ensure law and order at KZN polling stations

“If any laws are broken during the election, law enforcement will intervene” − 17,000 officers to oversee KZN voting sites.

17 000 cops to police KZN voting stations.

17 000 cops to police KZN voting stations. Image: X/SAPS.

The police chief in KwaZulu-Natal has criticized political leaders for stirring up divisions among voters, leading to violent clashes.

SAPS to be deployed in KZN at polling stations

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Police Commissioner General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi revealed plans to deploy approximately 17 000 police officers to voting stations across the province to uphold order during the elections.

Mkhwanazi spoke at Wednesday’s Electoral Code of Conduct Signing ceremony, condemning political leaders for creating divisions among voters.

According to The Citizen, on Tuesday, Sy Mamabolo, the chief electoral officer of the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC), stated that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has the most significant number of voting stations, totalling 4,974, followed by the Eastern Cape with 4,868 and Limpopo with 3,216.

Mkhwanazi appealed to voters in KwaZulu-Natal to honour each other’s constitutional right to vote for the political party of their preference and urged them not to intimidate others in selecting a particular party.

“Everyone has the right to be members of a political party, form a political party or vote for whoever they want to vote for,” said Mkhwanazi.

“But I want to remind you of the limitations of the same rights contained in the very same Constitution that they are limited. When your rights are limited, the police come and perform the task. The very same Constitution which the people adopted, you outline the objectives of the SAPS.

“One of the tasks you gave us is to prevent, investigate and combat crime, and most importantly, to enforce the law. If you violate the law, if you break the law, ours is to enforce. The SAPS and security cluster as a whole in KZN are planning to deploy not less than 17 000 law enforcement officers to police these elections.”

Mkhwanazi mentioned that the voting stations have been classified into low, medium, and high-risk categories.

“Political leaders, yes, we have high risk voting stations because of you,” he told the political leaders in the province.

“The high risk voting stations are a result of people who don’t want to tolerate each other and want to violate each other’s rights as contained in the Constitution. This forces us to increase the number of police officers that we deploy in that particular voting station to prevent crime.

“Please give us space, we have a lot of people who are raping, killing, robbing and stealing, we should be focusing on those and not policing those who have a right to vote because the right to vote is for everyone.

“Stay away from the police stations, allow people to walk in freely and mark the paper they want to mark. Because even those wearing your T-shirts might mark a different ballot paper when they get there.”

Ramaphosa urges peace amidst 16 injured in ANC and IFP clash

A clash between ANC and IFP supporters in KwaZulu-Natal resulted in injuries to at least 16 individuals.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has emphasised that violence will not be accepted as the country prepares for the national and provincial elections in May.

This statement follows a clash between members of the African National Congress (ANC) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in the province, resulting in injuries to at least 16 people.

According to IOL, The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) accused the provincial chairperson of the governing party, Siboniso Duma, of showing disrespect towards King Misuzulu ka Zwelithini and the Zulu nation during the 110th Anniversary celebration of King Dinuzulu ka Cetshwayo in KwaNongoma on Saturday afternoon.

Ramaphosa has called for calm ahead of the elections.

“Obviously, as the ANC, we abhor violence, we are totally against violence. We want these elections to be run on a non-violence basis where the electorate, people who want to go and vote are able to exercise  their right and their choice without being coerced or threatened and without any fear whatsoever.

“There is no place for violence in the democratic South Africa that we have become and we call on all South Africans to be totally against violence and should not participate in any violent activities. We call on leaders of various political parties to call on their members to desist from using violence including articulating violent statements,” Ramaphosa said.