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Police Minister Bheki Cele says SAPS has tight security measures at ANC’s manifesto launch in Durban

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Police Minister Bheki Cele said all the top police management – including the national police commissioner General Fannie Masemola and all the provincial commissioners as well as specialised police units were in Durban for the ANC’s elections manifesto to ensure “no funny business” took place.

Thousands of buses, taxis, and scores of people continue to flood the Moses Mabhida Stadium, as tens of thousands of supporters painted the stadium green, gold and black.

Cele, arrived at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a SA Police Services helicopter and was understood to be surveilling the area around the stadium before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his manifesto speech, said tight security measures were in place to ensure that “no funny business” will disrupt the election manifesto of the African National Congress.

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“The leadership and management starting from the national and provincial commissioners are here, deputies, head of operations are here. Those are the things to ensure that the safety is not compromised,” he said.

Cele added that bomb squads, K9 dog units, and specialised units were also deployed. He said high level scanning machines were also in use, and said the safety also needed to be extended and maintained outside the stadium.

The ANC’s Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) veterans were also present, in uniform, at the stadium to help balance the issue of safety and security.

This comes after some sort of “political intolerance” was seen in KZN during the by-elections two weeks ago where ANC and the newly formed party, MK party were at loggerheads at certain stations awaiting results.

The province has become a political battleground for political parties.

Ramaphosa is expected to launch the ANC’s Mayihlome Rally manifesto at midday to a packed crowd.

He will table its offering to the electorate ahead of the May 29 polls months after reviewing his party’s 2019 manifesto.

Ramaphosa is also expected to highlight the governing party’s achievements over the last 30 years since the end of the apartheid regime.

Ramaphosa announced the election date on Friday after his announcement earlier in the week that the country will go to the polls on May 29.

The ANC has been in KZN for more than a week campaigning and also calling people to vote for them at the polls.

Over 75,000 people are expected to attend the event and 65,000 of them will be inside the stadium as the president delivered the manifesto.

Cele said even the routes will be safeguarded to ensure a smooth operation.

Meanwhile, at the “Evening With ANC President” event at the Durban ICC on Friday night, Ramaphosa said South Africa was a better place than it was in 1994 and the ANC-led government has succeeded in making it this better place.

As he concluded, the president took up a spear and said “Mayihlome”, imploring supporters to get ready for the battle of the 2024 elections, their toughest test since 1994 with some election observers predicting the party would struggle to get more than 50% of the vote for the first time.

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