S. Africa security on alert ahead of elections
By Hassan Isilow, Sunday, May 04, 2014
PRETORIA – South African security forces are in full gear to ensure the country's fifth democratic elections, scheduled for Wednesday, are held peacefully with no incidents of violence or intimation.
"South African Police Service (SAPS) and partners in the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) are fully prepared to secure the General Election 2014," the SAPS said in a press statement issued Saturday.
SAPS personnel will be deployed to each and every voting station or center in the country where they will work closely with representatives of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
"They will ensure that all citizens can exercise their right to vote in the country’s 5th democratic general election in safety, free from intimidation, disorderly conduct or violence," said the statement.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), which was mandated by the South African Cabinet to secure major events such as the general elections, will give continuous support to the IEC from now until all votes have been counted and the results announced.
Authorities said normal day-to-day policing and crime prevention duties will continue.
"Where necessary, reservists will be called up as force multipliers," said National Police spokesman Lt. General Solomon Makgale.
He said Provincial Joint Operational Centers (PROVJOC’s) will be fully functional in all nine provinces of South Africa.
"We are confident that our communities can go out in numbers to cast their votes and they can do so in a safe and peaceful environment, conducive to free and fair elections."
South Africans will go to the polls on Wednesday to elect the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
Over 25 million South Africans have registered to vote in the elections, which coincide with the country's celebrations of 20 years of democracy when all races where allowed to vote for the first time in 1994.
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