32 Eastern Cape suspects in court for voter registration related violence

APRIL 11, 2016

Thirty-two suspects are expected in court on Monday after they were arrested in Mthatha and Ntabankulu for public violence connected with voter registration over the weekend.

"Yesterday at about 16:00, 26 suspects aged between 19 and 39 were arrested by Public Order Police Unit for allegedly forcefully closing a voting station and denied access to Independent Election Commission (IEC) staff at Polar Park JSS in Mthatha," said Eastern Cape police.

"The suspects will appear in the Mthatha Magistrates Court on charges of public violence."

Six suspects, aged between 19 and 44, were also arrested in Ntabankulu at about midnight for allegedly digging trenches on the gravel road between Bagqozini and Mzimhlophe localities with the intention of blocking other community members from registering to vote.

"The suspects will appear in the Ntabankulu Magistrates Court on 11 April 2016 on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property (MITP)," the police said.

Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lt General Celiwe Binta said the police in the Province are committed in ensuring that voter registration process takes place in a peaceful and conducive environment.

“These arrests meet the organisational objectives of the SAPS and the expectations of the communities we serve. This must also send a strong message to community members that we will bring to book those who choose to intimidate and prevent IEC operations and other community members from registering to vote. SAPS will not tolerate any acts of criminality,” said Lt General Binta.