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Police won't hesitate to act against voting disruptions, warns top cop

Officers are on high alert in areas identified as hotspots, particularly in Vuwani in Limpopo, Soweto and areas in KwaZulu-Natal as well as the North West.

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole. Picture: @SAPoliceService/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has warned those who plan to disrupt voting on Wednesday that officers will respond accordingly.

Officers are on high alert in areas identified as hotspots, particularly in Vuwani in Limpopo, Soweto and areas in KwaZulu-Natal as well as the North West.

On Monday, police arrested six people who allegedly torched a presiding officer's vehicle in Ganyesa.

In Potchefstroom, in Ikageng an empty ballot box was also set alight.

Sitole said that police would not hesitate to act.

"If any incident occurs, as police, we respond immediately because we've made a commitment to the nation that would have a safe election."

Meanwhile, Gauteng police have put measures in place to deal with possible security breaches.

Officers will monitor over 2,700 voting stations in this province.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela has called on communities to help the police identify any potential threats to the voting process.

His spokesperson Mathapelo Peters: "Deployment through the elections period will be intelligence-driven and responsive to threat assessment per voting stations. Measures have been put in place in anticipation of possible security breaches. The safety of children during this election period cannot be overemphasised. Parents must at all times be aware of the whereabouts of their children."

Every polling station will see at least two police officers - double the number will be deployed to medium to low-risk stations, while high-risk stations will have six officers present.

Additional reporting by Lauren Isaacs.