The KwaZulu-Natal Justice Crime Prevention and Security cluster has expressed satisfaction and readiness for tomorrow’s National and Provincial Election.
In a statement issued on Tuesday following a meeting, the KZN JCPS cluster said all systems were in place to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections in the province.
“We have spared no effort in developing a comprehensive master plan to ensure that peace and stability prevail during the election period,” said the cluster.
This became evident earlier with no serious incidents reported during registration and political campaign phases.
“During this period, we have only picked up pockets of violent public protests. The significant decline in incidents of political intimidation and intolerance is proof that this province is indeed turning the corner in restoring political co-existence.
The provincial government said all 4 884 voting stations - including those affected by the recent heavy floods - were open to welcome the province’s 5.5 million registered voters.
The plan will also roll over until the announcement of the election results and the post-election celebrations.
In Monday’s meeting, the JCPS cluster received reports of threats of illegal public protests aimed at shutting down voting stations.
“We have been made aware of the intention in some identified wards by some to use the election date to heighten demands and put pressure on government using elections as a strategic bargaining tool. In some instances, government and the political leadership had to intervene to neutralise the situation in certain areas, where there were reports of instability,” read the statement.
The KZN JCPS cluster emphasised that while the right to protest was enshrined in the Constitution, this has to be done in accordance with the rule of law.
“We would like to send a clear message that no one will be allowed to interfere with the other citizens’ right to cast their special votes today and on Election Day tomorrow,” said the KZN JCPS cluster.
The provincial government added that police have been given a clear instruction to act decisively, within the ambit of the law, against illegal protestors.
The cluster said the recent labour unrest and sabotage of essential services in eThekwini was being monitored while tough measures have also been developed to monitor feared truck blockades on highways.
Over 70 300 personnel law enforcement agencies and entities of government will assist in securing these elections.
Deployed police are expected to monitor hotspot wards eThekwini (wards 4, 80, 88, 91, 45 and 102), Zululand District (Abaqulusi and eDumbe), Alfred Duma Municipality, uMzimkhulu and areas under iLembe (Maphumulo, Mandeni, Ndwedwe and KwaDukuza).
In the statement, the KZN JCPS cluster acknowledge the work done by the Police Task Team on political killings in the run up to the elections.
“However, the continuation of these incidents is a serious concern. We urge our communities and political parties to work with the law enforcement agencies and to share with them all critical information that will assist in the prevention of this scourge,” the cluster said. - SAnews.gov.za