Ministers ‘Ensure’ Peace and Stability Amid Election Disputes

Ministers 'Ensure' Peace and Stability Amid Election Disputes

On Sunday, Police Minister Bheki Cele, Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Presidency Minister Khumbuzo Ntshaveni, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, and Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola assured the public that they would not permit any disruptions to the country’s stability.

This declaration follows calls from former President Jacob Zuma and the MK party for a re-run of the May 29 elections. They cited over 500 objections concerning alleged irregularities during the vote counting and capturing process. Zuma warned that releasing the results amidst these objections, which were extended until 6 pm on Saturday, would be “provoking” the party.

Despite these objections, the IEC stated on Saturday night that the complaints were insignificant to the final outcome and announced plans to release the results on Sunday afternoon.

Police Minister Bheki Cele emphasized during a National Joint Intelligence Structure (Natjoints) briefing that the police were prepared to ensure peace and stability.

“We are satisfied with how law enforcement agencies prevented and responded to incidents that would have otherwise tarnished the 7th general elections in the country,” Cele stated. “The Natjoints have further briefed the Ministers of the Security Cluster on their preparedness to assure the safety and security of the country in the post-election phase… As the Security Cluster, we would like to assure South Africans that the law enforcement agencies stand ready to maintain peace and stability as they have done throughout the elections period. Any attempt to undermine the authority of the State and South Africa’s constitutional order will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly,”

said Cele.

Defence Minister Thandi Modise noted that while they had not engaged with the MK party, they continued to call for calm.

“In the past elections we have always behaved in accordance with our Constitution. We are appealing to all parties. We all have the same rights not only to exercise their rights. Our plea is to all parties. We do not think we want to have a conversation with any individual party. We are appealing to South Africans to respect the law,”

said Modise.

The MK party had alleged during their briefing on Saturday night that two individuals were arrested in connection with supposed IT interference, which caused the election results leaderboard to go offline for two hours on Friday. However, Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola refuted this claim, stating no arrests had been made.

Presidency Minister Khumbuzo Ntshaveni highlighted that all political parties had signed a declaration to abide by the electoral code of conduct and emphasized that law enforcement would act against anyone, regardless of their status, who undermined the country’s stability.

“Anyone who wants to undermine the stability of the country, the law enforcement will have to deal with them. The bottom line is there is a law and there is dispute resolution mechanisms in place,”

she said.

Cele also referenced the Commission of Inquiry into the July 2021 riots, noting that public order policing and crime intelligence had since been enhanced, providing the police with more preventative measures than before.

“The law will have no eyes to see who you are,”

said Ntshaveni.

Modise mentioned that the army’s response to the July 2021 riots had been delayed but assured that they were now prepared to act promptly against any threats.

“We will not tolerate anyone interfering with the rights of the citizens. We take ourselves very seriously on that matter. South Africans have a freedom of speech, but it has limits. When it starts putting lives and property at risk, we will act. Once it gets to where people are endangered, then it becomes our business, we hope we do not go there,”

said Modise.

Ntshaveni reiterated that the MK party should use the dispute resolution mechanisms in place, as outlined by the Electoral Act and managed by the IEC.

“All parties have signed the code of conduct. That’s what must be applied. If you threaten the stability of the republic, the law will have to take its course,”

said Ntshaveni.

The election results are expected to be certified this afternoon, with the ANC, DA, MK, EFF, and IFP emerging as the leading five parties. A coalition government is anticipated to be announced this week.

Bheki Cele, who is # 79 on the national list, has not made the cut. Man isn’t going to parliament, unless some comrade is knocked off the list. I’d be very surprised if that happened. He’s not helped much with KZN, a huge blow to the ANC. [But] if he knows things, he might be kept busy with something, somewhere. Diplomat?

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