Northern Cape communities urged to work with police to ensure safe elections

Monday, May 27, 2024

Law enforcement in the Northern Cape has called on communities to work with them to ensure that the National and Provincial Elections -- to be held this week -- are safe and secure.

In a statement, the Northern Cape Provincial Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (PROVJOINTS), said from their side, law enforcement has done all it can to ensure they are ready for Election Day on Wednesday.

“All the security measures and plans that have been put in place will ensure that the election process in the Northern Cape will proceed without any incidents of crime and disruptions. We assure maximum deployments to ensure the successful execution of the operational plan.

“As the PROVJOINTS, we are satisfied with the contingency plans put in place and reassure the inhabitants of the Northern Cape that they can expect a safe and peaceful election.

“However, while measures are in place, the ultimate responsibility of ensuring a safe and conducive environment lies with every citizen of the province, which requires sound partnerships in order to create a harmonious backdrop of mutual respect as we are heading to the voting polls,” the statement read.

Furthermore, potential threats of disruptions are being monitored.

“Threats identified, such as community protests are already being attended to and those that are found to be in contravention of the law are being dealt with. Our Public Order Police units (POPS) are on the ground and ready to prevent and combat such incidents.

“We take this opportunity to remind our communities that the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa provides that every resident is free to make political choices, which includes the right to participate in the activities of political parties and to campaign for such parties,” the statement said.

Communities are also warned not to vandalise, deface or remove political party posters and placards, as this is against the law.

Citizens are also warned not to spread fake news or incite violence.

“Any person found to be tampering with posters will be arrested and charged with contravention of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, which prohibits the unlawful removal and defacing of posters published by a political party.

“We also condemn the spreading of fake news, unverified information, rumours or threats on social media platforms that seek to cause unnecessary panic and confusion and in some instances, incite possible violence. Those found to be sharing inflammatory messages and inciting violence will be charged accordingly,” read the statement.

The Northern Cape PROVJOINTS said although ensuring a “safe and secure election process” is a priority, due attention is also paid to normal policing work.

“The main priority of SAPS, with the support of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster departments, is to ensure a safe and secure election process. We also assure the communities of the Northern Cape that normal crime prevention and policing operations are continuing prior, during and beyond the election period.

“Every law enforcement officer on the ground, has the responsibility and an obligation to execute their mandate, professionally, impartially and with integrity and within the confines of the laws of the country. Our members are reminded that we are a-political and will enforce the law without fear and favour,” the statement said. –