Experts to help IEC prevent conflict before polls

2016-06-30 19:19

Cape Town – A panel of experts in the Western Cape has been dealing with gangsterism, taxi warfare, and community protests ahead of local government elections.

Provincial Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) officer, Courtney Sampson, said on Thursday he was comforted by the panel’s work.

The panel worked with residents, political parties and non-profit and faith-based organisations.

“Our concern is getting people to the polls, without any form of protest or violence preventing the voter from getting to the voting station,” provincial IEC spokesperson Trevor Davids explained.

The 12-member panel worked on a contractual basis for the IEC to develop ways of dealing with such issues. 

Started in the Western Cape in 2011, the idea became a national strategy this year.

Davids said every region now had a panel to deal with endemic problems.

“The more these communities are familiar with these people, the better the outcomes at the end of the day.”

Protesters burnt two buses and threw stones at cars on the N2 highway in Cape Town on Wednesday night. They were said to be unhappy about the ward candidate process.

Davids said their panellists started handling the situation the same night.

They identified the parties involved, if it was directly related to the elections, and if it would affect the polls.

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