Avoid marches, protests next week in SA, UK warns citizens

Police Minister Bheki Cele, flanked by fellow ministers from government's Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster - State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele addressing journalists on the readiness for the May 8 general elections. National police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole was also in attendance Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / African News Agency (ANA)

Police Minister Bheki Cele, flanked by fellow ministers from government's Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster - State Security Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Home Affairs Minister Siyabonga Cwele addressing journalists on the readiness for the May 8 general elections. National police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole was also in attendance Photo: Jonisayi Maromo / African News Agency (ANA)

This as Police Minister Bheki Cele said police would be out in full force to ensure peace prevailed at the country’s 22,924 voting stations.

The United Kingdom on Thursday updated its local travel advisory for those visiting South Africa during next week’s general elections.

“South Africa will hold national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019; protest marches and demonstrations can occur anywhere in South Africa and sometimes at short notice; you should avoid areas where demonstrations and marches are taking place,” read the message.

Also on Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said that police would be out in full force to ensure peace prevailed at the country’s 22,924 voting stations.

Cele said 51,306 officers would be deployed countrywide.

Police had already been deployed in KwaZulu-Natal – known to be a hotspot for political violence – and the North West province, said Cele.

“We have 3,000 reservists and five other groupings that are waiting to be deployed [should it be necessary],” said Cele.

Forty-eight political parties will be contesting the elections.

African News Agency (ANA)

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