Public safety, police visibility top priorities as SA votes

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Top police brass across the country have once again reassured citizens that safety will be a top priority as millions of South Africans cast their votes today.

KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner, Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, says he’s confident that the people of the province will exercise their right to vote responsibly.

17 000 police officers have been deployed to hotspots across the province.

Polling stations nationwide opened at 07:00 and will close at 21:00.

Addressing the media in Durban, Mkhwanazi explained how police identified high risk areas.

“It is informed by protests that normally happen in that area (due to) the intolerance that we have observed between political parties contesting in that specific ward…so that’s what makes us to be on high alert. In such instances, it is all about the political instability that exists in that area. The people of this province are going to prove to South Africans that they are disciplined, and they can have free and fair elections and they respect the law. So, I think this is the time they can show it to the country, how good they are. They are going to go out there and vote, but they are going to do that in a disciplined manner.”


In Mpumalanga, the Provincial Police Commissioner, Semakaleng Manamela, has again reassured voters and Electoral Commission (IEC) officials that law enforcement officers, including the police, are on the ground to protect them.

Manamela says they take the safety of all South Africans seriously.

At least three separate incidents involving members of some political parties and the IEC officials have been reported in Acornhoek, Elukwatini and Hendrina since the beginning of the week.

Manamela has assured citizens that adequate officers have been deployed to ensure law and order.


In Gauteng, the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) says its officers will maintain law and order during voting.

Spokesperson, Thabiso Makgatho says there will be rapid deployment to polling stations in the event of disruptions.

“We urge the members of the community to refrain from any violence, threats or disturbances. Furthermore, we give a stern warning that any form of lawlessness will not be tolerated. Citizens have the responsibility to exercise their rights within the constitution, without infringing or violating the rights of others. As the Ekurhuleni Metro Police, we will be fully operational in conjunction with other law enforcement to ensure that the South African citizens go and exercise their constitutional right to vote. We hope the elections will run smoothly and peacefully.”


In George in the Western Cape, police came out in the numbers in the early hours of the morning to accompany IEC officials to voting stations.

More details of police presence in George in the report below:

-Report by Minoshni Pillay and Nontlantla Mokati