The army and police have been deployed to hotspots in North West. Picture: ANA/Stringer

Mahikeng - At least 21 people have been arrested in connection with disturbing elections in Mmadinonyane, Ganyesa, North West police said on Tuesday. 

Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said they were arrested on Monday, for contravention of the Electoral Act. "The suspects aged between 17 and 41 years were arrested in Mmadinonyane village near Ganyesa for torching a vehicle belonging to the area manager of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). 

"According to information available at this stage, reports suggest that the area manager and another official were driving separately in their vehicles, of which one was loaded with IEC voting material. 

"They were allegedly stopped by members of the community who robbed the pair of their cell phones before setting the two vehicles alight, both of which were damaged as a result. 

"The incident led to damage to the voting material that was loaded in one of the vehicles. A police vehicle that was escorting the two vehicles was allegedly pelted with stones," he said.

After the incident 10 women and 11 men  were arrested and they were expected to appear in the Ganyesa Magistrate's Court on Thursday, They face charges of contravention of the Electoral Act, malicious damage to property and robbery, he said.

National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole said there were no special court to deal with people arrested for election related crimes, but there were arrangements with courts to deal with the matters speedily.

Ganyesa is one of eight identified hotspots in North West. The province is also one of the those identified for the deployment of the army.

North West and KwaZulu-Natal have been flagged as high-risk provinces. 

African News Agency (ANA)