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1,500 police officers to be deployed around KZN on election day

KwaZulu-Natal has recorded the highest number of political killings since campaigning started.

Khanyisile Ngobese-Sibisi was shot on the same day while on her way to a Mandela Day event in Ladysmith. Picture: ANC Women's League via Facebook.

DURBAN - Authorities say it's all systems go for the elections on Wednesday, and more than 1,500 police officers will be deployed to strengthen visibility during and after polling day.

Provincial Community Safety and Transport MEC Mxolisi Kaunda and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), have held a final state of readiness briefing in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) today, where they have given assurances that the elections will be peaceful, free and fair.

KZN has recorded the highest number of political killings since campaigning started.

The province's community safety spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane says the situation in areas infamous for political killings, during the campaign period, have stabilised and there is already an increase in intelligence officials on the ground.

"From where we are sitting, we are dealing with the sporadic killings of candidates, which is a cause for concern, but in those areas we have said we are going to increase police visibility."

Ncalane says they have also noted the Electoral Court's decision regarding the National Freedom Party and have met with its leadership.

"That on its own has some potential of causing some instability because out of [desperation], their members have staged some illegal protests."

The community safety department says because the violence has been sporadic, all areas in the province will be treated areas of concern.