Report election intimidation to police - Govt

2016-07-30 17:37

Cape Town - Communities must report any intimidation during the elections to their local police station, the government said on Saturday.

"While the country is making progress in ensuring that these elections are conducted in a peaceful environment, government has noted that there are still a few disgruntled elements focused on disrupting elections in our communities," said acting Cabinet spokesperson Donald Liphoko.

"Communities are encouraged to report any incidents of intimidation to the nearest police station." he said.

According to the statement, voters in Vuwani had made a commitment to "express their voice peacefully through the ballot".

This was after a number of violent protests over demarcation which led to at least 50 schools being burnt down or damaged, and teaching disrupted.

Political parties were urged to abide by the Electoral Code of Conduct and to raise issues quickly with the IEC.

Police would be on duty at voting stations across the country and would escort IEC officials, patrol, secure ballot papers and protect electoral staff.

"As government we have full confidence in the IEC and we have no doubt that it will conduct free and fair elections," the statement said.

The government also commended law enforcement officers for the way they handled an incident in which boxes containing ballot papers were stolen from a delivery vehicle in Soweto.

The Commission said on Friday that the boxes contained ballot papers for Ward 29 and Ward 31 in Johannesburg. It thought the thief did not know there were ballot papers in the boxes as the boxes and vehicles are unmarked.

Each ballot book has a unique serial number and the stolen papers had been "quarantined".

"Given the known identity of these ballots as well as the security features built into the ballot papers themselves, the Electoral Commission is confident that the loss of these ballot papers can have no impact on the integrity of the elections," spokesperson Kate Bapela said.

"The numbers of the missing booklets for Ward 29 are 127 to 146 and for Ward 31 are 76 to 113. Each book has 100 ballot papers."

Some have been found burnt.

- 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.

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