Limpopo top cop says police ready to ensure safe voting takes place

Provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

Provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

Published May 23, 2024


With only five days remaining before the national and provincial elections on May 29, Limpopo police say they are ready to ensure safety and security at the polls in the province.

During a provincial government event at the Jack Botes community hall in Polokwane, other stakeholders including civil society, religious sector, the police and government, took part in the prayer calling for peaceful elections.

Limpopo provincial commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, who did not attend but sent a representative, said the police were ready to serve and ensure the safety of voters.

This come few days after the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS), led by the South African Police Service (SAPS), the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and the State Security Agency (SSA), said they have sufficient measures in place to ensure that the upcoming elections proceed without any incidents of crime and disruption.

Hadebe said police have been deployed throughout the province to safeguard voting stations and other critical areas.

Hadebe mentioned that law enforcement agencies, led by the SAPS, are collaborating closely with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), local government bodies, and other agencies to coordinate efforts and ensure a smooth and secure election process.

“Joint operation centres have been established to facilitate real-time communication and rapid response,” she said.

She added that the police are dedicated to ensuring every citizen can exercise their right to vote in a safe and secure environment.

“We urge the public to cooperate with the law enforcement authorities and report any suspicious activities to help us maintain peace and order during this period.”

Hadebe warned the public that no lawlessness will be tolerated during the heightened election period.

“Anyone with intentions to disrupt elections will be dealt with decisively and face the full might of law. The police have been deployed and (are) ready to deal with any eventualities, especially in identified hot-spot areas,” she added.

In addition, Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said a strategic plan has been developed to address potential threats, “with specific focus on preventing and swiftly responding to any incidents of violence or unrest during the election period”.

On May 20, The Star reported about tensions escalated in Juju Valley township near Polokwane, Limpopo, reigniting a long-standing political feud.

Videos circulating on social media depicted armed groups engaged in a violent confrontation during door-to-door election campaigning last week Sunday.

The two groups exchanged fire while some were seen throwing stones at each other during an election door-to-door campaign.

In what was seen as political intolerance, one group wearing ANC T-shirts, the other clad in EFF regalia, were involved in a turf war that resulted in a nine-year-old girl fighting for her life in hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds, while 11 more were injured after being caught in the crossfire.

Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba, provincial spokesperson of the SA Police Service in Limpopo. Picture: SAPS

Following this, Mashaba said the police are currently investigating the case and monitoring the area.

“Cases such as attempted murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, malicious damage to property, robbery and contravention of Section 87 (1) (f) of Electoral Act of 1998 are among some of the cases that are being investigated and arrests are imminent,” said Mashaba.