To date police have arrested 63 people in 84 reported cases. The offences committed include public violence, intimidation, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, common assault, malicious damage to property (including the unlawful of removal of posters) and the contravention of various sections of Electoral Act.
As a law enforcement body we will continue to employ a zero-tolerance approach to people seeking to derail the elections. The arrest of these 63 people is an indication that any person involved in criminality will be dealt with strictly in accordance with the law.
Furthermore, police arrested four suspects when they conducted cordon-and-search operations at Freedom Park near Rustenburg in the North West Province in the early hours of this morning. Four suspects between the ages of 26 and 40 were arrested and dangerous weapons such as knives, knobkerries, pangas, spears, steel pipes, wooden sticks, shampongs, axes and grass cutters were seized. The suspects were also found in possession groceries which they allegedly looted from shops in the same area between Saturday, 26 April and Sunday 27 April 2014.
Law enforcement agencies will continue to stabilize identified problematic areas by conducting crime prevention and combatting operations, and tracking suspects wanted for any crime. Experienced prosecutors are readily available to deal with any election-related criminal case generated and give relevant guidance to the investigators.
The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure is satisfied with the manner in which people conducted themselves during different political gatherings that took place today.
It’s only a matter of a few days now before the people of South Africa take to the polls. We want to urge all in South Africa to respect every person’s democratic right to cast his or her vote. Our police officers will be deployed at every voting station and we will also be monitoring problematic areas very closely to ensure that these elections are conducted in an environment that is free and fair.
Let these arrests serve as a reminder that the joint security forces remain focused in their efforts to ensuring a free and fair elections.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS