Convictions will hopefully deter political killings - police commissioner

2016-08-24 19:06
Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane

Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane

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Cape Town – Acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane has expressed the hope that the conviction of those charged with political murders will serve as a deterrent during future election periods.

"We obviously do not expect this to be a forever thing. We will continue to intensify our efforts from an intelligence gathering perspective so that those that are involved are brought to book," he told the police committee in Parliament on Tuesday.

The SAPS was briefing the committee on their deployments during the elections. 

On Wednesday the SAPS briefed the committee on the evaluation of their deployment during election season.

Major-General Leon Rabie told the committee that 782 election-related cases were reported to the police from February 1 to August 5, 2016.

Murder, attempted murder, intimidation

These included the deaths of 18 people in pre-election violence, as well as cases of arson, public violence, attempted murder and unlawfully persuading a person to support or not support a party or candidate.

Of the 782 cases, 129 stemmed from incidents during voting days from August 1 until August 3.

Rabie said of the 18 people murdered, 13 were in KwaZulu-Natal, four in Gauteng and another in the Eastern Cape.

There were eight cases of attempted murder reported nationally, while there were 29 cases of intimidation, with the most coming from KwaZulu-Natal. 

Over 100 people were charged with public violence between February 1 and August 5, with 51 in Gauteng and 11 in KwaZulu-Natal.

There were 88 cases related to the defacing, removal or destroying of billboards around the country.

He said twelve charges were laid of taking a "photographic image of a marked ballot paper".

Of the twelve, four cases were in KwaZulu-Natal, three in the Free State and two in the Eastern Cape.

Investigations in progress

There were 98 813 police officials deployed around the country on election day (August 3), while 60 480 were deployed on the first two days of elections.

All clusters with hotspots - including Vuwani and KwaMashu - conducted three operations three times a week to enhance police visibility.

"All operations conducted were intelligence-driven," Rabie said.

Phahlane said the killings were unfortunate, but that they were happy with the progress of their investigations so far.

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town  |  political killings

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