Voter intimidation 'won't be tolerated'

2011-05-18 13:04
Bloemfontein - The law is clear that nobody can stop or violate any voter's rights to vote at any voting station, Free State IEC head Chris Mepha said on Wednesday.

He was reacting after a temporary voting station was burnt down in Bloemfontein.

Mepha said there was a heavy police presence at the Phase 7 "Tuckshop" voting station to provide security to voters and Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) personnel.

Scores of police officers converged on the voting station near Grootvlei, south of Bloemfontein, where locals are unhappy with service delivery.

The voting process at the temporary tent voting station was going smoothly, said Mepha.

Service delivery

Police forensic investigators were at the scene where the original voting station tent was burnt down during the night, he said.

The IEC started voting off under a tree at 07:00 while a new tent was erected for voters.

A small group of residents were in discussion with police at the scene during the morning.

One of the locals displayed a placard with the words: "We always vote but no service delivery. Fifteen years without formalisation."

Police in riot gear stood between angry residents and the voting station.

Police spokesperson Colonel Sam Makhele said the situation was under control.

Mepha said if anybody was suspected of intimidating voters at the voting station they would be arrested.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos
Read more on:    iec  |  bloemfontein  |  elections


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