Police promise a safe voter registration weekend
Security will be beefed up to make sure voter registration runs smoothly this weekend, national police said on Friday.
"We are ready to deal with any eventualities", said Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) chairperson.
Natjoints includes the South African Police Service, the South African National Defence Force and several other government departments.
Voter registration takes place on Saturday and Sunday throughout the country.
"It will be the task of the joint security forces to ensure that this process takes place in a peaceful environment, free of intimidation and violence."
He said joint operational centres at national and provincial levels have been set up and would be continuously monitoring the situation closely.
In the past, the joint security forces ensured that crimes during the 2009 and 2011 elections did not go unpunished, Mawela said.
"In the 2009 elections, a total of 496 suspects in all of the country's nine provinces were arrested in connection with election related crimes.
"A total of 68 people were found guilty for crimes ranging from intimidation to murder."
He said in one case an accused was sentenced to life plus 15 years imprisonment for an election-related murder committed in Umkomaas, KwaZulu-Natal, in January 2009.
"Everyone qualifying to vote must be able to choose freely without fear of violence," Mawela said. – Sapa.