The over 50 000 police officers deployed nationally in the event of any problems on Election Day will be supported by the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) but the military is not making public the number and types of assets it will make available.
“We are on standby to assist if and when needed,” said Captain (SAN) Jaco Theunissen, SANDF Joint Operations spokesman.
The military has made assets available, including manpower and aircraft, and these will be called on if needed and requested by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and/or the NATJOINTS, Government’s National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure. Among government departments and agencies represented on NATJOINTS are the SANDF, SA Police Service, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Department of Health, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation, the IEC, government’s Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee and metro police from across the country.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko last week confirmed the deployment of police officers to ensure there are “zero no-go areas” in the country on Wednesday when voters to go the polls in what is being called one of the most important yet in the history of democratic South Africa.
He said there were 65- voting districts across the country classified as high risk areas. This was substantially down on the thousand identified in June.
The 22 612 voting stations open at 7am and voters have until 7pm to cast their votes.
According to the IEC more than 26 million registered voters will make their crosses for public representatives in 4 392 wards. There are no fewer than 203 parties with 63 354 candidates and a further 855 independent candidates vying for votes.