SAPS to deploy 23 000 police officers for elections

2009-04-07 00:00

More than 23 000 members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) will be deployed in KwaZulu-Natal to help maintain peace and order in the upcoming national and provincial election.

SAPS Director Phindlile Radebe said this will include members of the Public Order Police Units, National Intervention Unit, Detective teams and reservists.

Each polling station will have at least two police officials. However, those stations identified as high risk will have up to eight police officers on duty.

Radebe said there were already extra officers in problem areas such as Nongoma, Ulundi and Escourt.

According to Radebe, they were currently busy with ongoing intelligence assessments, confirmation of voting stations with the IEC, as well as security provision for political events, demonstrations and VIP visits.

She said there will also be roadblocks, searches in problematic areas, and intelligence-driven fire-arm searches.

“We have centralised the investigation of cases and deployment of investigative task teams with regard to election related offences.

We have ensured the establishment and deployment of reaction forces in problematic areas as well as contingency plans for natural and man-made disasters,” Radebe added.

She said that during the elections, SAPS will ensure the inspection and sweeping of voting stations for explosives and dangerous objects.

Officers will maintain law and order within the inner perimeter of voting stations, ensure the escorting of ballot papers to voting stations and secure areas during the counting process until the announcement of results.

Radebe said that during this time there will also be ground and air reaction forces on standby and that normal day-to-day policing will be unaffected during the election.

Radebe issued a stern warning to those bent on disrupting the election. “Expect no mercy from the SAPS irrespective of your position or political affiliation.”

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