Five people were arrested in the Bergville area in KwaZulu-Natal, while another person was detained in Ntuzuma, in the north of Durban, following election protests.
As reported by Shaun Ryan from East Coast Radio, residents took the streets and barricaded roads. In addition, they dug trenches to restrict access to the voting station.
Police spokesperson Jay Naicker confirmed that it was “quite a challenge” as special equipment was required to fill up the trenches. He confirmed, however, that “access to the affected voting station is open.”
“I think the IEC is just dealing with staffing issues there now. There is a lot of intimidation in those areas. [Some people] are against the local councillor and there are other issues, so they allegedly don’t want people to vote.”
Prior to that, four Bergville voting stations were forced to close down due to protest action area in the area. Operations were restored to those stations in less than an hour, according to the Letaba Herald.
In Ntuzuma, a group of about 300 residents barricaded roads with burning tyres. They protested over water and sanitation-related concerns and demanded that a water tanker be returned to the area.
Police continue to keep an eye on Ntuzuma Access Road. A group of at least 300 people earlier blocked the road with burning tyres, stones and debris. Video: @SteveBhengu #SAElections2019 @ecr9495 @ECRBreakfast @NatarahNadesan pic.twitter.com/IsYb2PFJeX
— ECR_Newswatch (@ECR_Newswatch) May 8, 2019
Naicker confirmed that officers are out in full force today and that police will continue to monitor the situation in Bergville and Ntuzuma. Several areas around KwaZulu-Natal were declared as hotspots earlier this week.
Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed that more than 50 000 would be dispatched to voting stations around the country.
2019 Elections and voting:
- Election 2019 Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the president elected in South Africa?
- Special vote: Disruptions and uncertainty on the final day
- Why 9-million eligible voters did not register to cast their ballot
- Here’s what happens if electoral votes tie in South Africa
- Yes, you can waste your vote – here’s how and why