Police ready to quell any ‘imminent’ revolt

Over 500 police officers were deployed to various parts of KZN ahead of the elections. Picture: SAPS

Over 500 police officers were deployed to various parts of KZN ahead of the elections. Picture: SAPS

Published Jun 6, 2024


Durban — The government is ready to quell any imminent revolt from backers of the uMkhonto weSizwe Party (MKP), who are disgruntled amid the suspected irregularities during last week's elections.

Leading the onslaught is the leader of the eight-month-old party, former president Jacob Zuma, who warned the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) not to “provoke” them.

“We are saying to you don't declare the results until you have dealt with our issues. There is no rush to declare the results. Don't provoke us!” said Zuma last week before the results were officially declared on Sunday.

This was after the IEC said it would declare the election results on Sunday following Wednesday's national elections, which the MKP was against, crying foul over a litany of issues, including the alleged vote rigging.

Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi said the police will continue to monitor any developments regarding the elections.

“Our priority is to ensure that our country is safe. We will fight against any attempts to destabilise the country,“ said Mkhwanazi.

There are fears that the staunch backers of Zuma were likely to go on a rampage as they have publicly rejected the election outcome.

Among them is Lucky Hadebe, who also leads the Progressive Civic Congress, a breakaway of the South African Civic Organisation (SANCO).

“We will fight against this injustice all the way to the courts. But we'll not destroy our country. However, we can't dictate to the people how they should react to this,” said Hadebe.

Hadebe poked holes at the IEC’s handling of the elections, saying it was untoward that the MKP failed to win an outright majority in KwaZulu-Natal despite the overwhelming support.

“Now do you explain what happened? There was evident manipulation of the votes. The MKP was the voters' preferred party,” said Hadebe.

The MKP got 37 seats in the provincial legislature of KwaZulu-Natal, falling short with five seats that could have paved the way for it to be the outright majority party in KZN.

Nationally, the party scored 58 seats in the National Assembly which has 400 seats.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said the police will “ruthlessly crush any dissent that will plunge the country into mayhem.”

He added the police’s crime intelligence was working tirelessly to repel any possible unrest.

More than 400 people died during the 2021 July unrest following Zuma’s arrest after he defied the Constitution Court’s order that instructed him to appear before Justice Raymond Zondo (then deputy Chief Justice) commission of state capture.

The economic losses were over R50 billion.

The upcoming days will be interesting as political rivals vie for the top government position, following the ANC’s failure to secure an outright majority nationally, as well as in Gauteng, Northern Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.

A stiff contest for power is playing in KZN where the control of the provincial budget of R150 billion is up for grabs.

The IEC was hit with 579 objections.

The IEC’s Deputy Chief Electoral Officer, Masego Sheburi, said all those objections to the commission would have received a response before the announcement of the results.

Sheburu said: “Everyone who took the pen to raise an objection with the commission would have received a reason for what the commission did with their objection.

“Where they agreed with their objection, the commission would have told them the steps that they are going to be taking. Where the commission rejected those objections, the commission would have informed the person of the reasons for the rejection.”

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