Six arrested in KZN during #ElectionDay2019 protests

Six arrested in KZN during #ElectionDay2019 protests

At least six people have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal after violent protest action erupted in parts of the province this morning.

Shaun Ryan

Five people were nabbed in the Bergville area, which falls under the Okhahlamba Local Municipality. This after community members there took to the streets and barricaded roads.

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Police spokesperson Jay Naicker say trenches were also dug across the roads to prevent access to voting station.

“It was quite a challenge, we had to get in special machinery to fill up those holes again. Access to the affected voting stations is now open, I think the IEC is just dealing with staffing issues there now,” said Naicker.

“There is a lot of intimidation on those areas. [Some people] are against the local councillor and there are other issues, so they allegedly don’t want people to vote.”

Naicker says another person was arrested in the Ntuzuma area, north of Durban.

Meanwhile, IEC acting deputy chief electoral officer, Mawethu Mosery says they are working with authorities to stabilise the Bergville area.

Mosery remains confident those who want to cast their ballots will be able to do so once voting commences.

He says people in the queues come 9pm will be allowed to vote, even if it means IEC officials have to man the stations until the early hours of the morning.

“Because of the tensions and the volatility in that area, there are still no queues at voting stations,” confirmed Mosery.

“But we will open voting stations and we will see, as long as it takes, that we allow those who want to come and vote to do so.”

He says the IEC is working with police to secure and stabilise the area.

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