25 April 2014
With South Africa’s 7 May general elections less than two weeks away, the country’s law enforcement agencies are set to increase their presence in a number of communities to ensure that there are no such thing as “no-go areas” in the lead-up to the polls.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and several other ministers from the government’s justice, crime prevention and security cluster visited a number of so-called “hot-spots” in Cape Town on Wednesday to assess their readiness for the election.
“We are sending a warning to would-be disruptors that we are not going to be friendly to them when they disrupt a very important national duty,” Mthethwa said.
The 7 May poll will be South Africa’s fifth general election since 1994 and will be symbolic in many respects, as it coincides with the country’s 20 Years of Freedom celebrations.
Mthetwa said the government would ensure that South Africa’s citizens were able to exercise their democratic right to vote in a peaceful, free and fair environment. “We have come a long way as country. We will not allow a few individuals to disrupt us from ensuring that these elections are free of any violence of any kind.”
After a meeting with the Western Cape’s police leadership on Wednesday, the minister said he was pleased with the province’s readiness for the elections. “I am satisfied that when the day comes, we are going to have a successful election free of any conflict and it will be free and fair. I am satisfied with the readiness of our personnel on the ground.”
Mthetwa’s delegation made stops at the townships of Khayelitsha, Manenberg, Phillipi and Tafelsig, where informal discussions were held with residents and community leaders.
The ministers also spoke to people on the streets regarding their concerns about crime, gangsterism and drug abuse. Residents in all the visited areas included crime, drug abuse and gangsterism on their list of concerns.