Security beefed up ahead of voter registration weekend

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pretoria –The South African Police Service says security has been beefed up to ensure a smooth voter registration weekend.

The IEC has set aside 9 and 10 November for South Africans to register to vote at 22 263 registration points throughout the country. 

The National JOINTS departments, which include the SAPS, the South African National Defence Force, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and several other government departments across the country will be out in full force to ensure that this process takes place in a peaceful environment, free of intimidation and violence.

The joint operational centres both at the national and provincial levels have been set up and will be continuously monitoring the situation closely.

“We are ready to deal with any eventualities,” said Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, the National JOINTS Chairperson on Friday.

He said while voter registrations were expected to be held in a generally peaceful environment, SAPS and other role players were leaving nothing to chance as there had been crimes related to elections in the past.

“Simply put, the right to vote is enshrined in our constitution and the JOINTS is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that this right is exercised in an peaceful environment,” said Mawela.

In the 2009 elections, a total of 496 suspects in all of the country’s nine provinces were arrested in connection with election related crimes. A total of 68 people were found guilty for crimes ranging from intimidation to murder.

“Everyone qualifying to vote must be able to choose freely without fear of violence,” Mawela said. – SAnews.gov.za

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