Increased police visibility expected at hotspot voting stations during local government elections
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Cape Town – Police Minister Bheki Cele says visibility at hotspot voting stations is expected to be increased in the wake of political violence ahead of the local government elections.
Cele, on Wednesday, visited the family of slain EFF ward candidate Thulani Shangase who was gunned down shortly after campaigning in Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal.
During the visit in Caluza, Pietermaritzburg, he described the 2011 and 2016 election period as “very bloody”.
According to Cele, the almost 23 000 voting stations in the country had been profiled. He indicated that while the number of low-risk voting stations not affected by political violence is high at about 19 000, there are about 300 high-risk, or hotspot, voting stations in the country, of which the majority are in KZN.
Other high risk areas include Gauteng, specifically Tshwane, as well as the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.
He noted that police are planning around the affected areas.
On Friday ANC in KZN’s eThekwini Municipality ward 101 candidate Siyabonga Mkhize and another member were gunned down in Cato Crest in Durban. A third person was wounded in the incident.
The trio were attacked after campaigning.
Last Wednesday the EFF in Tshwane’s ward 77, Olievenhoutbosch, deputy chairperson James Khumalo was shot and killed in his home.
In September three women who were attending an ANC meeting to vote on ward councillor candidates were gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Inanda.
Cele said a task team probing politically motivated killings was working on six cases in KZN.
Since its inception in 2018, the task team has arrested over 200 suspects.
The security cluster is expected to on Monday convene a media briefing on the political violence and security measures for the November 1 elections.