29 April 2014
Ministers of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster visited the Eastern Cape as part of government efforts of ensuring peace and stability leading towards elections. The Ministers previously visited KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces in the past few weeks.
The delegation was led by Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele and consisted of Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor, Minister of Correctional Services Sbusiso Ndebele, Minister of Performance, Monitoring and Administration Collins Chabane, Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance Andries Nel and the Provincial MEC for Local Government Mlibo Qhoboshiyane.
The visit kicked off with a briefing on Eastern Cape state of readiness by the Provincial Joint Operations (ProvJoints), Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and various other security agencies on issues currently being dealt with and contingency plans thereof, particular around Sterkspruit and Molteno. These are areas that have been the subject of community protests in the recent past. It is imperative that government puts all measures in place so that individuals exercise their democratic right to vote.
Ministers further listened and engaged with community members who raised concerns such as intimidation by a minority within the community, speedy release of arrested people, and self-appointed community spokespersons who falsely advocate that Sterkspruit community will not vote. Community members told the delegation that they are prepared to vote. They requested protection from police so as to exercise their democratic right to vote.
The Ministers committed to the deployment of additional policemen, strict adherence to the Electoral Act, the implementation of the electoral protocol pertaining to swift finalisation of cases related to elections and for police to deal decisively with those intimidating people and disrupting service delivery. Further community engagements included walk-abouts at a taxi rank and at Molteno.
Government is satisfied that the ProvJoints is seized with the task of bringing security and stability in the province. The security of each and every individual’s safety is of paramount importance to government. Our democracy allows citizens to raise their concerns however it must not expose others to danger nor distract infrastructure. Members of the public should alert police of any form of intimidation to seek recourse.
Issued by GCIS