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Chaos erupts at a Limpopo voting station when voter answers his cellphone

2016-08-03 21:52
Local elections 2016. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Malamulele - Limpopo police have arrested three suspects in Xigalo village outside Malamulele for charges including assault of a police officer, attempted murder, contravening the Electoral Act and malicious damage to property.

According to Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto, the 26-year-old male who was among those arrested had gone to cast his vote at the Xigalo Primary School voting station when his phone rang.

"A man came to cast his vote. During the process his cellphone rang and he answered. An IEC official informed him that [he] is not allowed to answer a phone in a polling station," said Otto.

According to Otto, an argument started and the police were called.

"They found a group of people and attempted to disperse them when another argument started. The group started to attack the police with stones and managed to grab the service pistol from one of the members and assaulted another officer," said Otto.

Three warning shots were fired.

Calm restored

READ ELECTION WRAP: Politicos and the people mingle on voting day

Otto said one of the suspects ran away with the service pistol and was chased by another police official in a police van. The suspect then threw the firearm away.

"The firearm was recovered. The police official lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a fence and knocked a woman over who was walking next to the road," said Otto.

The injured woman was taken to the Malamulele Hospital where she is in a stable condition.

Otto said three suspects, two men aged 26 and 27 and a woman of 40 years, were arrested.

Calm was restored at the station following the incident and voting continued. The police officials who were involved in the altercation did not sustain any serious injuries.

- Find everything you need to know about the 2016 Local Government Elections at our News24 Elections site, including the latest news and detailed, interactive maps for how South Africa has voted over the past 3 elections, or download the app for iOS and Android.

Read more on: police  |  iec  |  local elections 2016

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