Authorities ready to protect citizens' right to vote during elections

Sunday, May 26, 2024

Law enforcement agencies are “in charge and in control” as the country heads to the polls this week, says police Deputy National Commissioner Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili.

Mosikili said this when she addressed the media on the readiness of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) ahead of the National and Provincial Elections to be held on 29 May 2024.

Special votes are expected to be administered by the Electoral Commission (IEC) on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the general elections on Wednesday.

“To all voters, go out there having full confidence that the NatJOINTS’ plan is on track to protect your rights and our democracy. We are in charge, we are in control. As law enforcement agencies, we will ensure your safety throughout this period,” she said.

The Lieutenant General acknowledged that the task of ensuring a safe election period was challenging but assured citizens that past experience will augur well for this week.

“The task at hand is immense but through past experiences of ensuring safe and secure elections, we are confident that we are ready for this next phase. The road to a safe, secure and peaceful election requires the commitment and effort from all stakeholders, including our communities.

“We are grateful that thus far our communities and South Africans from all walks of life have continued to display responsible conduct and behaviour.

“A reminder to all political parties that political campaigning ends midnight on 28 May 2024, should it continue beyond this period, this would be a transgression and contravention of the Electoral Act,” she said.

Fake news

Mosikili warned citizens, particularly those who use social media, not to engage in the spreading of misinformation and fake news.

“You are all urged to verify facts first before sharing any information which often leads to unnecessary confusion and panic.

“We will not tolerate any incitement of violence on any platform. Our intelligence communities and cybercrime units are closely monitoring online users. We are warned not to step out of line,” she said.

Mosikili reminded police officials to protect the elections within the confines of the law.

“It is more boots on the ground. Our law enforcement agencies are out there deployed to ensure that everyone who will be exercising their democratic right does so in a peaceful, safe and secure environment.

“We once more want to remind our law enforcement agencies to continue to apply fundamental policing principles guided by the Constitution and our laws,” she said. –