Cops intervene as EFF, ACT supporters try to enter IEC warehouse

A disgruntled crowd was dispersed from the Electoral Commission of South Africa’s (IEC) warehouse in Parys in the Free State ahead of vote counting on election day.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), in collaboration with the African Congress for Transformation (ACT) party members, accused the African National Congress (ANC) of working hand-in-hand with the IEC to rig the votes.

The dramatic incident happened outside the IEC warehouse. The angry crowd demanded to gain unauthorised entry to observe what was happening inside the building.

Police spokesperson Sam Makhele confirmed that the mob was cleared off the warehouse around 12.30am on Thursday. The party members had been outside since 6pm on Thursday. At this time, there was no one inside the warehouse.

He said the crowd was monitored and dispersed by the public order policing members that were deployed to the area.

Mob tried to storm unoccupied IEC warehouse

“Police deployment during the national, regional, and provincial elections ensured the safety of the voters. [They also] brought to book those who were breaking the law. The day started with static deployments. Other members continued to do patrols to ensure that voters were not prevented from exercising their constitutional rights,” said Makhele.

He added that the province also saw several other incidents relating to the votes. However, he confirmed that nothing has been reported to severely disturb the voting process.

Makhele said police in Kopanong were investigating a case of interfering with infrastructure. The suspect was found attempting to steal a cable that supplied electricity to a voting station.

On the other hand, a party agent was arrested on suspicion of stolen property. This after she was caught using a gazebo that belongs to a government department.

One voter arrested for disrupting process, attacking cops

“While members were on … observation duties at a primary school in Sasolburg, a 69-year-old female voter started causing disruptions in the voting station in town. Police officials approached her and she attacked one of the officers. She was placed under arrest and charged with common assault and hindering a police officer,” said Makhele.

“We guaranteed total visibility to our communities and that’s what the police in Free State delivered. As the province, we only had low and medium hot spots. Maximum deployments were sent to the areas in a form of reaction units supported by the provincial airwing. [Airwing] was giving aerial support to operatives,” he added.

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