Sterkspruit voters ask for police protection

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)
Port Elizabeth - People planning on voting in Sterkspruit in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday requested increased security measures during the upcoming elections, the government communication and information system (GCIS) said.

"They requested protection from police so as to exercise their democratic right to vote," said the GCIS in a statement.

The request was made during a visit by various ministers involved in crime prevention and security to protest hotspots in the Eastern Cape.

"Community members... raised concerns such as intimidation by a minority within the community, speedy release of arrested people, and self-appointed community spokespersons who falsely advocate that Sterkspruit community will not vote."

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Home Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, Correctional Services Minister Sbusiso Ndebele and Performance, Monitoring and Administration Minister Collins Chabane were among the delegation that visited the province.

A briefing was held with various government security agencies and the Independent Electoral Commission on issues in areas, such as Sterkspruit and Molteno, that have been the subject of community protests in the past. Community walk-abouts were then held in the areas.

"The ministers committed to the deployment of additional policemen, strict adherence to the Electoral Act, the implementation of the electoral protocol pertaining to swift finalisation of cases related to elections, and for police to deal decisively with those intimidating people and disrupting service delivery."

The delegation has previously visited KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape over the past few weeks.

South Africa will hold its general elections on 7 May.
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