Police Minister Bheki Cele. File photo: ANA

Pretoria - At least 51 300 police officers would be deployed to various polling stations for the May 8 general elections, said Police Minister Bheki Cele.

Cele made the announcement on the police's state of readiness address to ensure that safety and security on the election day during a media briefing at the GCIS offices in Pretoria.

Speaking on behalf of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster, Cele emphasised that the police were ready to deal with any potential threats against the smooth running of the elections. 

He said: "The cluster’s approach is that safety and security during the elections must be co-ordinated by all concerned departments and stakeholders with the aim of ensuring that all South Africans exercise their Constitutional right to vote freely and fairly."

In addition to security measures, he said that around 3 500 reservists would also be deployed in all the nine provinces.

He said the police would monitor all forms of protests or ‘shutdowns’ to ensure that no individual’s constitutional right to vote would be infringed.

"Police officers will escort rresiding officers who will visit homes of those people who will participate in special voting on  May 6 and 7 2019. 

Law enforcement agencies will also provide security services to the presiding and voting officers when they collect and deliver ballot papers/boxes to voting stations,"h e said.

The  North West and KwaZulu-Natal provinces have been identified as the highest risk areas.

"Through our intelligence driven operations, hotspots in the country have been identified and will be prioritised. 

As part of the deployment strategy, a capacity of five teams will be maintained at national level to be deployed to any part of the country where the situation requires urgent intervention to deal with high risk situations," Cele said.

Pretoria News