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Those who threaten violence against the IEC warned

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Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni has warned those who threaten violence against the IEC that the country’s law enforcement agencies will do everything to defend a free and fair election.

She was responding to questions about threats by some MK Party members that there would be violence if the party did not appear on the ballot paper.

Ntshavheni briefed the media following Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

The minister was asked if the cabinet had expressed itself on the MK Party threats. She responded that the matter was not on the agenda but then went on to warn those making the threats that they would not be allowed to succeed.

She says the security forces must do everything in their power to defend the elections.

“Anybody who threatens violence when we’ve got dispute-resolution mechanisms for either elections or any type of dispute does not deserve to live among SA. In addition, law enforcement officers and agencies must make sure they are brought to justice. Because there will not be mayhem, there will not be a repeat of the July 2021 unrest in this country when our law enforcement agencies are at work,”

Another issue around the elections was the letter written by the DA to several governments asking them to send observers to South Africa.

Ntshavhevi says, “To invite countries that do not have themselves a participatory democracy at the level in which we participate; to have countries that do not observe participation mechanisms themselves; to have countries that are already denying their own citizens the right to vote … you know their states in the US that have curtailed the right to vote of certain people. It will not happen. We have our own rules. We have our own observer mechanism, and this democracy has stood the test of time.”

The cabinet has also expressed concern about the continuing situation in Gaza, where Palestinians continue to be killed and displaced by Israel.

The minister says the cabinet hopes that its urgent application to the International Court of Justice (ICC) will bring an end to the conflict and allow for the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid.

She has repeated the government’s call for a cessation of hostilities and added that the only way to lasting peace is through a two-state solution.

“The people of Gaza and the West Bank are continuing to be killed. They are continuing to be starved by the Israeli government, which is refusing aid to enter those occupied territories. In addition, when aid is dropped, people are suffering and becoming victims. As the government of South Africa, our call is that there must be a complete cessation of hostilities and fighting so that aid can reach the people.”

The cabinet has also expressed its concern about incidents of gender-based violence and the kidnapping of children.

Ntshavheni says the cabinet called on communities to look out for children to ensure they are safe.

Report by Joseph Mosia 

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