'No shutdown will infringe on anyone’s right to vote' – Cele

2019-04-11 20:41
Police minister Bheki Cele addresses the media on the security detail of the Global Citizen Festival on December 05, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais)

Police minister Bheki Cele addresses the media on the security detail of the Global Citizen Festival on December 05, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Netwerk24 / Jaco Marais)

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Police Minister Bheki Cele wants to assure South Africans that shutdowns will not infringe on any citizen's right to vote in the May 2019 elections.

"We will not say that people do not have a right to protest, the only difference is that the right cannot infringe on another person's right to vote," Cele said at a briefing on the country's state of readiness in Tshwane on Thursday.

He was joined by Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Dube, National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole and Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) commissioner, Mosotho Moepya.

The briefing comes after service delivery protests in Alexandra, Gauteng spread to the City of Tshwane and Kroonstad in the Free State just a few weeks ahead of the elections on May 8.

Protests have also taken place in Khayelitsha, Somerset West and Strand in Cape Town.

ALSO READ: #AlexTotalShutdown: Protesters want Cyril and not Mashaba

Cele further explained that law enforcement officials had identified a few hotspots where police visibility would be intensified to secure safe and free elections.

"We have identified a few hotspots in KwaZulu-Natal where there are tensions due to political issues," he added.

However, he would not elaborate on the safety and security plan for the hotspots.

"Hotspots? Yes. Detailed plan? No," he said in response to a question from News24.

Citizens heading to the polls in May can expect to exercise their democratic right to vote in a safe and secure environment, he said

"All voting stations will be accessible to all. No shutdown will infringe on anyone's right to vote," he added.

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