State Security Minister arrives in Springs

By Drum Digital
07 May 2014

Cweli hold a private meeting over security concerns in Springs

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele arrived at Evergreen Informal Settlement in Springs on the East Rand on Wednesday where voting had not started by 9.30am.

He arrived as Word of God church Pastor Mandla Mdluli was seeking assurance from an Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) official that the church would be reimbursed if their tent, which the IEC wanted to use, was burnt down or damaged.

Mdluli and Cweli held a private meeting over Mdluli's concerns.

The church's tent was pitched among the shacks that make up the settlement east of Johannesburg.

It was not immediately clear why the IEC could not erect its own tent or why these concerns had not been addressed sooner.

Mdluli wanted an undertaking from the IEC that it would cover costs if the church's tent was torched.

On Monday, a Transnet building in the neighbouring Gugulethu settlement was torched by protesters and 46 people later arrested for public violence.

Meanwhile, people waited in a queue, ready to vote.

Mdluli said people should be able to vote freely and without fear of intimidation.

A stone's throw from the voting station a group of about 50 young people earlier stood on the corner shouting at people going to the voting stations to not vote.

One of the youngsters on the corner, giving only his first name Sipho said: "We are not voting. Those who vote, we are going to find them at night."

There was a strong police presence with Nyala police vehicles driving around and a police helicopter circling overhead.

Cwele had come from visiting Bekkersdal earlier in the day, after it was identified by police as a potential hotspot.

-           Sapa

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