Mon. May 20th, 2019

Elections 2019: Six arrested for disrupting special vote process in North West

elections north west ganyesi ikageng edutywa ginsbergPolice will deploy more officers in hotspot provinces.

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With the 2019 general elections only hours away, the North West province has been rocked by disruptions to the special vote process that kicked off on Monday.

As reported by EWN, six people were arrested for their involvement in the torching of a presiding electoral officer’s vehicle in the Ganyesa, a small town in the North West, on Monday.

Elections 2019: Disruptions in the North West

According to police spokesperson, Sabata Mokgwabone, the officer survived the incident with no injuries after disgruntled protesters invaded polling stations in the area in an attempt to disrupt the process.

RelatedElections 2019: Police to ramp up activity in Cape Town crime-ridden hotspots

It is not clear, at this point, whether the vehicle was carrying any ballot papers from the special vote process.

More reported disruptions in Eastern Cape

Mokgwabone also revealed that similar events had gripped the town of Ikageng, in Potchefstroom, where “one of the paper boxes was also burnt.”

Other areas that experienced disruptions include Ginsberg, a small town outside of King William’s Town, in the Eastern Cape, and eDutywa.

In Ginsberg, officers from the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) were refused entry into the voting station with threats of violence, while eDutywa protesters blocked the entrance of their polling station with burned tyres and rubble.

Related –Elections 2019: Gauteng to beef up police presence at polling stations

Police beef up security in hotspot provinces

The North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape have been identified as medium-to-high risk zones, in terms of the possibility of politically-related violence erupting on Election Day.

National police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole touched down in the North West on Tuesday to oversee the last day of the special vote.

He confirmed that more than 51 000 police officers would be deployed in these hotspot areas to ensure the safety of voters. So far, there has not be any reports of violence or disruptions at the polls.

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