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Sunday, 19 May 2024 10:45

NATJOINTS put sufficient security measures in place to ensure safer general elections.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) is confident that it has put sufficient security measures in place to ensure that 29 May general elections proceed without incidents of crime and disruptions.

Natjoints chairperson, Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili told a media briefing on Sunday that the Natjoints coordination centre would come into operation for the elections from Wednesday, 22 May until 9 June and would work around the clock to proactively identify threats and vulnerabilities. 

"Having conducted a national security assessment with key role players in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster, we are satisfied with the operational plan that is currently being implemented, and can assure South Africans that a conducive environment for a peaceful election has been prepared," she said.

"We can assure South Africans that a conducive environment for a peaceful election has been prepared," she said.

Mosikili said SAPS executive management recently visited each province to assess their state of readiness and they can confirm that all provinces are ready and have put the necessary measures in place to prevent and combat incidents of violence and criminality.

In addition, they have also identified a number of high-risk voting stations and potentially volatile areas.

"Threats identified such as community protests are already being attended to and those that are found to be in contravention of the law are being dealt with. Our Public Order Policing units are on the ground and are ready to prevent and combat any such incidents.

"These places are being monitored on an on-going basis and deployments are subsequently proportional to the level of risk identified through intensified operations, informed by thorough analysis and intelligence-based reports," she said.

Mosikili noted that one of the biggest threats at the moment is fake news. "We strongly condemn the spreading of fake news, unverified information, rumors or threats as this seeks to cause panic and confusion, and in some instances incite possible violence.

"We urge members of the public to fact-check before sharing anything on social media platforms. Those who are found to be sharing inflammatory messages and inciting violence will be charged accordingly."

Furthermore, she said police are investigating two cases of a break-in at the IEC offices in Houghton and Johannesburg and in Caledon in the Western Cape.

The Houghton case where a laptop has been stolen, the investigation is still under way, and in Western Cape, seven suspects were arrested in Caledon after they broke into the IEC offices and stole a scanner and a projector. All seven suspects have appeared in court and were remanded in custody," she said.

Mosikili said while measures have been put in place to combat lawlessness during election period, she said the ultimate responsibility of a safe and secure election lies with citizens.