Safety assured

2019-05-08 06:01

The police in the Free State have assured the public that safety will prevail all-round during the elections.

The police said safety measures are in place, all in line with the mandate to ensure safety, law and order to ensure elections are conducted in an environment that is free and fair.

Lt Gen Moeketsi Sempe, provincial commissioner, said the role players for safety in the Free State will work together to ensure that all community members cast their votes without any fear or intimidation.

He said the police would act in terms of Section 205(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, requiring the police to prevent, combat, investigate crime, maintain public order, and to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property.

“The police will, particularly during the elections, ensure the execution of this mandate,” Sempe said.

In addition to this, the Electoral Act of 1998 places further obligations on the police to ensure the securing of the electoral process, including the securing of warehouses where election material is stored.

This obligation includes safeguarding of this material and voting stations, and of Electoral Commission (IEC) personnel and the voters.

“The purpose of these numerous responsibilities is simply to ensure that communities can exercise their democratic right to vote in a safe and secure environment.

“People who find themselves intimi­dated not to vote, should report such conducts to the nearest police station,” said Sempe.

Sempe has urged all voters to act responsibly, observe the laws of the country and to cooperate fully with the police. He has strongly warned against breaking the law.

“The Dangerous Weapons Act of 2013 and the Regulation of Gatherings Act of 1993 provide for the right of citizens to gather peacefully, but to do so without bearing dangerous wea­pons, or by inflicting harm on others or damaging property or infrastructure.

“Decisive measures will be taken against anyone found to be in contravention of these acts,” he said.

No protests or groups will be allowed to deter the democratic rights of people to cast their votes freely.

“We urge leaders to refrain from making irresponsible, inflammatory statements or social media postings, which may incite irresponsible or even violent behaviour,” said Sempe.

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