SAPS guarantee safe and secure 2016 Municipal Elections

JULY 8, 2016

Despite the recent sporadic outbreaks of violence leading up to the 2016 Local Government Elections, the South African Police Service (SAPS) on Friday assured that the vote will be conducted in a safe and secure environment.

“The mandate of the SAPS demands from us to lead in the process of securing the elections and to allow all South Africans to cast their democratic vote without any fear or intimidation,” said Acting SAPS National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.

General Phahlane was addressing the media on the police’s state of readiness for the 2016 Local Government Elections to be conducted on 3 August 2016.

General Phahlane said conducting the elections will take a great deal of work by a number of roleplayers.

The SAPS, including the all law enforcement agencies in the country, supported by key roleplayers from the respective safety and security structures will ensure the delivery of safe and secure local government elections.

“All government departments within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, together with the SAPS, will be instrumental in ensuring the delivery of free, fair, safe and secure elections.

“The SAPS will during the build-up to the election, on the day of the election and the period after the election, increase police visibility through focussed deployments of personnel throughout the country,” General Phahlane said.

General Phahlane said through the intelligence structures, police have identified a number of hotspots and potentially volatile areas that will be monitored on a continuous basis.

“These areas will be targeted through intensified operations, informed by thorough analysis and intelligence-based deployments.”

He added that he was confidence that measures are in place for the securing and safeguarding of the 2016 Local Government Elections.

“These measures are planned and managed through the national Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), which is chaired by the SAPS as the lead department.

“Planning was initiated in March 2015, when the NATJOINTS established an Inter-Departmental Priority Committee specifically for the 2016 Local Government Elections,” General Phahlane said, adding that the SANDF will provide logistical support.

Dangerous weapons prohibited

General Phahlane warned that the police will not allow the carrying of any prohibited or dangerous weapons by any member of the public at any public gathering.

“The public has the police’s assurance that firm, measured but decisive action will be taken against anyone found to be in contravention of the Dangerous Weapons Act 2013 and the Regulation of Gatherings Act 1993. Law enforcement and compliance is a just.

“No person may publish any false information with the intention of disrupting or preventing an election or to create hostility or fear in order to influence the conducting or outcome of an election. No person may interfere with a voter’s right to secrecy while casting,” General Phahlane emphasised. –