No security problems likely, says IEC

2011-05-17 00:00

THE Independent Electoral Commission in KwaZulu-Natal expects no security hassles as millions of voters flock to 4 358 voting stations across the province tomorrow, the provincial IEC head, Mawethu Mosery, told a press conference in Durban yesterday.

Security concerns were raised after some parts of KZN were identified as hot-spots.

More than 20 000 police have been deployed in the province to safeguard the elections.

Areas identified as hot-spots are Camperdown, Estcourt, Imbabazane, Msinga, Ulundi, Nongoma, Mandeni in the Ilembe district and hostels in and around Durban.

“We have no security concerns about the election day as we expect everything to go according to what we planned.

“Security problems are only experienced before and after the elections,” Mosery said.

He said yesterday that there had been a “huge drop” in the number of complaints to the IEC in KZN during candidates’ election campaigns.

“During the 2006 elections we received 200 complaints, and for this year’s elections we received only 23 complaints.

“That is a huge drop,” he added.

Of the 23 complaints, 15 were about removing campaign posters; the rest were about disruption of campaigns.

Kwanele Ncalane, a spokesperson for the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, said the multi-party task team that Mchunu heads has achieved a lot in quelling political intolerance and violence in the province.

Speaking to farmers, businesspeople and amakhosi at Greytown Lodge in Greytown yesterday, national Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said that cases of political intolerance and violence in the province have decreased compared to previous elections.

An Umvoti municipal ANC councillor, Ahmed Shaik asked Cele whether there are fears that violence might break out when parties lost the election in the area, which is hotly contested by ANC, IFP and NFP.

The police commissioner said the police who have been deployed will not be removed until an assessment has been made.

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