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Poll protests under control - Phiyega

2014-05-07 16:07
A voting station burning in Bekkersdal. (SABC, Twitter)

Johannesburg - There were some sporadic election day protests, but police had the situation under control, national police chief Riah Phiyega said on Wednesday.

"We had to respond to some of the emerging areas we had not scoped yesterday [Tuesday]. We saw the emergence of something in Maruleng in Tzaneen where there were clashes for a particular matter," she said at the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) results centre in Pretoria.

"We saw something in Gugulethu on the East Rand coming though and we intervened in those areas, but everything is calm and under control."

Phiyega said the SA Police Service identified election hotspots and was prepared for eventualities on Wednesday.

"You can't just be reactive. We have invested in a lot of planning and that planning was informed by our analysis and assessment of the entire country to look at where we are having threats and to classify them."

Strong security measures were in effect at voting stations in Springs and in Bekkersdal, where there had been arson attacks.

The same applied to a Cape Town township and gang-plagued Manenberg on the Cape Flats.

Military vehicles were deployed to Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga, following ANC faction-fighting in recent weeks.

Police patrolled Bekkersdal, west of Johannesburg, where two IEC tents were set alight on Tuesday night.

"We have identified a few areas as hotspots in various provinces. In KwaZulu-Natal we have identified KwaMashu, in particular the hostels," Phiyega said.

Sterkspruit and Molteno had been listed in the Eastern Cape.

"If I look at North West, we look at Bloemhof. We had scoped in Ithuseng, Rustenburg, and the platinum belt area, in Limpopo we had identified areas such as Malamulele and in the Western Cape there were one or two areas."

Earlier, the IEC said there was no reason to believe there was an increase in protest action during the national and provincial elections.

"Our information does not indicate a number of increasing incidents [protests] - it must be said, this is one country where every election as we have indicated is very different from another," chief electoral officer Mosotho Moepya told reporters at the IEC results centre.

"In this election in particular the number of incidents... was so minimal. Of course we've had lots of issues raised but those issues we have had to deal with, as we have dealt with them in the past, are significantly lower."

The IEC said there were significantly fewer incidents of protest action affecting the voting process early in the day, although there were isolated incidents that affected the opening of stations.

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Read more on: pretoria  |  elections 2014

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