119 voting stations have been classified as high risk in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The province is among those that have received additional police deployment during the local government election.
Of the high-risk stations, 97 are in the eThekwini Municipality.
On Saturday, on the first day of special votes, police officers were deployed to eight voting stations in the KwaNyavu area at Umgungundlovu in the KZN Midlands where a dispute over traditonal leadership delayed the opening of voting stations.
“High risk means they are deploying no less than 6 members in that voting station until the election day. If its necessary they can also increase the numbers from the SAPS. The 119 is broken down into eThekwini Municipality where we have 97 voting stations that are high risk. District 43 which is Harry Gwala we have 10. Ilembe we have 5. Ugu we have 1. Umgungundlovu we have 4 and the Midlands we have 2,” says Ntombifuthi Masinga, IEC Provincial Electoral Officer.
#sabcnews #sabckzn A hand note in all eight voting stations making threats that those who will disobey the demands will face the consequences. This led to IEC staff feeling unsafe. pic.twitter.com/20zF9L58OA
— Nonkululeko Hlophe (@Leko3) October 30, 2021
Stay out of politics, says Police Minister to officials
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele has warned police officials against getting involved in politics – saying action will be taken against them if they do not carry out their work diligently. He was addressing police officers in Durban ahead of their deployment to various areas on the eve of the local government elections.
Cele has also appealed to law enforcement personnel not to discriminate against political parties, but provide protection across the political spectrum.
He says over the period of the elections the officers will be deployed to violent hotspots in the province which have the highest number of politically-motivated killings.
“We are in the province where you have to be double vigilant, and your double vigilance, you must make sure that you stay out of politics. So it will be important that you keep elections safe. You keep the movement of the material safe,” says Cele.
LGE 2021 I Police Minister addresses media on police deployment to voting stations
Eight voting stations in KZN failed to open for special votes: IEC
On Saturday, eight voting stations under the Mkhambathini Local Municipality, at uMgungundlovu district in KwaZulu-Natal, were unable to open due to unhappiness with matters related to traditional leadership.