2019 South African general election: Analysis and News

'Violence we have seen this past week is far less than in 2014 and 2016'

Voting has begun in South Africa on Wednesday.

According to the Institute for Security Studies's prediction, about 1% of polling stations will be disrupted on the day.

There were six arrests of officials for torching an electoral official’s car in the North West on Tuesday.

Communities barricaded the entrance in Ginsberg, outside King William’s Town and Idutywa with burning tyres and rocks on Monday.

Read: #2019NationalElections: 70 000 officers deployed amid fears of protests in KZN

Amid all that is going on, will these disruptions affect the credibility of these elections?

702's Bongani Bingwa speaks to Institute for Security Studies crime and justice hub manager Lizette Lancaster.

If the final voter registration weekend is anything to go by, we saw 0.6% of polling stations disrupted. That is higher than in previous elections.

Lizette Lancaster, Crime and justice hub manager - Institute for Security Studies

We know that people have an enormous appetite to engage in disruptive protests, so there is a likelihood that we will see 1% or even less on the day.

Lizette Lancaster, Crime and justice hub manager - Institute for Security Studies

I don't think we need to worry about our elections being free and fair, and what is encouraging is that the violence that we have seen this past week is far less than in 2014 and 2016 where we saw several polling stations burnt down.

Lizette Lancaster, Crime and justice hub manager - Institute for Security Studies

Lancaster adds that no one should be intimidated not to vote.

Read: Voter intimidation is criminal and will not be tolerated - Saps

The other concern is that none of our citizens should be seeing and witnessing violence especially our children. That is why we do monitor violence happening in public spaces. It is really important that we work on appropriate responses for these types of things.

Lizette Lancaster, Crime and justice hub manager - Institute for Security Studies

With police and security cluster presence, there will not be disruptions at polling stations on voting day, she notes.

She says it is important that if disruptions flair up, police exercise caution.

Listen below to the full report:


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