Mahikeng - At least six people were arrested in Ganyesa in connection with election-related disruption, North West Community Safety Mpho Motlhabane said on Tuesday.
"It is with disappointment to indicate that some members of the community in Madinonyane in Ganyesa disrupted special election yesterday [Monday]. They did not only do that but, went as far as setting alight a vehicle belonging to the presiding officer of the Electoral Commission of SA.
"The good news is that subsequent to this barbaric action through hard work of our law enforcement agencies six suspects have been already arrested. The swift response by the police is highly appreciated," Motlhabane said.
He was speaking at an election readiness briefing in Mahikeng.
Motlhabane said in another incident an empty ballot box was set alight in Potchefstroom. No arrests have been made.
"This are just some of the incidents that were reported on the first day of the special votes, despite this senseless actions. I can still firmly confirm that we are ready in the province following our last week showcasing our readiness for the this election."
He said protesters would not be allowed to disrupt the elections.
"We cannot allow a situation where criminals masquerading as protesters disrupt democratic processes which has not been easily achieved," he said.
"Elections are supposed to be peaceful as opposed to what we have experience in the past days including the voter registration period. No amount of dissatisfaction will give any citizen of this country the right to act carelessly and give them the right to infringed on the right of others."
A school that was to be used as a voting station was torched at Tlhakajeng, in Kraaipan outside Mahikeng, allegedly by people intending to boycott the election.
Two voting stations did not open for special votes due to protests in the North West on Monday.
Motlhabane said it was concerning that several areas in the North West province had to be declared hot spots.
National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole said eight areas have been flagged as hot spots in the North West. This included Ganyesa, but Sitole declined to list the other seven areas for security concerns.
He said North West was one of the provinces where the army has been roped in to respond to trouble.
"North West is one of the provinces which has been identified for defence deployment as you see them. We also want to extend our appreciation and complement the defence force for both their discipline and patriotism in making sure that we work together in creating a safe and secure environment," he said.
"This province is one of two provinces that are referred to as hot spots and is a province which is under stabilisation even before the election, which means there has been high density deployment in this particular province to make sure that it is stabilises as a hotspot."
African News Agency (ANA)