KZN police on high alert as poll celebrations loom

People sitting during a briefing of the IEC
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The security cluster in KwaZulu-Natal is on high alert as South Africans prepare to celebrate the performance of their favourite political parties in the general elections.

They say they will monitor the festivities.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is expected to release the general election outcome at 6pm on Saturday.

Provincial Police Commissioner, General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi was speaking at an IEC briefing at the provincial Results Operations Centre in Mayville, Durban.

The presentation marked the end of vote counting in the province.

The ANC is leading the pack with a reduced majority of 53.7% of the votes. It is followed by the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), which has regained ground and returned as the official opposition party in the province. The party secured 21.98% of the votes, compared to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) 12.18%.

General Mkhwanazi says 40 cases were opened on election day. They were mainly linked to service delivery protests. He says 9 356 police personnel were deployed to monitor Wednesday’s polls.

” There were a total of 104 of those voting stations were we had criminal cases that we’d opened in regard to that. In some of the polling stations there is some incidents that happened that required criminal cases to be opened, in total we opened 40 cases in relation to the day of the election. We had medical incidence also that took place, about 18 of them.”

Charges against suspects include violating the Electoral Act with people accused of removing posters from lamp posts, trying to vote twice, preventing people from voting and assault.

General Mkhwanazi says only one person has been prosecuted successfully so far.

He is behind bars as he couldn’t afford the R2 000 fine imposed on him.

 Voter turnout

Of the 5.5 million registered voters in KwaZulu-Natal, 3.7 million voted.

The voter turnout was 67%, which was below the 70% target the IEC had set for itself.
Inquthu and Emtshezi, eDumbe are among municipalities that had the lowest turnout.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs  MEC,  Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has congratulated the IEC for presiding over a ‘successful election’.

She’s thanked political parties for showing maturity during the country’s sixth democratic elections, urging them to work together with government to build South Africa.

KwaZulu-Natal is said to have registered the most young voters in the country.