National 3.8.2016 02:47 pm

‘You can leave your T-shirt on’

Some voting stations are erroneously turning away voters wearing party regalia, but elections are going fairly smoothly, with police on high alert in hot spots.

With more than 75 000 police officers deployed at voting stations across the country, acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane was confident the 2016 local government elections would be peaceful and safe.

“Nationally all departments and agencies, together with the police, have deployed 279 291 personnel members,” Phahlane said.

“Duties being performed by police members include static protection, duties at voting stations, escorting of voting material and IEC personnel, patrolling of hot spots, investigating reported offences, and the deployment of roving reaction teams comprising members of the police’s most elite and highly trained units.”

One of the hot spots is Vuwani, where voting is going extremely slowly, according to sources, but Phahlane was insistent the arrests of three people last week had restored order to the area.

Another hot spot is Tshwane, where the resulting fallout over the appointment of Thokozile Didiza as the mayoral candidate saw the municipality burn.

In Atteridgeville, however, it was as if none of this had happened, with outgoing mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa wearing ANC regalia and in a jocular mood, expressing his support again for Didiza.

‘No selfies’

It is prohibited to take a “selfie” of your marked ballot paper, the IEC warned.

“Voters are also reminded that it is prohibited to take a photograph or ‘selfie’ of their marked ballot paper,” IEC chairperson Glen Mashinini said the IEC’s Results Operations Center.

“This is essential to protect the secrecy and integrity of their vote and the process.”

The IEC said it also received some reports of isolated cases where voters were stopped from entering voting stations by election staff, as they were adorned in political party clothing and regalia.

“Wearing of such clothing by voters is not prohibited.

“It is only prohibited for party agents and candidates to wear party clothing inside a voting station.

“This is made clear in the ‘dos and dont’s’ poster provided to each voting station.

A picture has been doing the rounds on Twitter of a voter wearing an ANC T-shirt with an x marked next to the EFF.

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