Mthethwa slams Bekkersdal reports

TV reports earlier suggested Mthethwa had closed down all registration stations.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police Minister Nathi Mthetwa has slammed reports that he ordered the closure of voting registration stations in Bekkersdal on the West Rand.

TV reports earlier suggested Mthethwa had closed down all stations due to unrest in the area.

The community reportedly threatened to boycott this weekend's registration proceedings after Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said the ANC did not need protestors' 'dirty votes' following weeks of violent demonstrations over service delivery.

She has since apologised to residents for her comments.

Mthethwa's spokesperson Zweli Mnisi says police are, however, monitoring the area.

"Minister Mthethwa is currently in Bekkersdal visiting the area as part of monitoring the voter registration process from a safety perspective. However, the reports by certain media houses that he has ordered the closure of any voting station are untrue, misleading and sensational."

Meanwhile, police say the situation in Bekkersdal is calm following an earlier incident where residents were throwing stones.

Earlier this morning a group of students threw stones at IEC officials, but police managed to deal with the situation swiftly.

The Police's Neville Malila says, "Currently there's no burning of tyres or throwing of stones because we have a high visibility in the area."

He says it's safe to register to vote in the area.

"People who want to go out and register can go and register, it is safe in the area."