Around eight million people were eligible to vote

Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise on Sunday encouraged the citizens of South Africa to report any crime related to upcoming elections to their nearest police station or Electoral Commission (IEC) offices.

Addressing the media briefing by the Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security Cluster, the minister explained that a protocol had been established between the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, South African Police Service Detectives and the National Prosecuting Authority to take down all election-related crimes across South Africa.

The upcoming elections will be held on May 29, making it the seventh election in the country since the end of the apartheid era in 1994.

The minister noted that those individuals who are using social media and other electronic platforms to send threatening messages, incite violence or cause harm will be charged.

"When an individual creates a video or share a post to the public and where the post contains words, speech or conduct that may encourage others to commit public violence, the aforementioned post will make one guilty of the offence of inciting public violence and police will not hesitate to track the person down and hold you accountable," she said, SA News reported.

Modise went on to appeal to all community leaders to be careful while speaking on public platforms, urging them to avoid making any inflammatory or threatening statements as it would be considered breaking the law and encourage other people to be involved in criminal activities.

She added, "Ensure that you double-check the accuracy of the information and be aware of the unintended consequences of your actions. Members of the public should report any inflammatory statements to law enforcement agencies."

Furthermore, the minister also warned the common people to refrain from sharing any false or unverified information online or in person that could lead to serious consequences.

The National Disaster Management Centre has activated provincial disaster management teams to find potential risks and plan ways to lessen their impact before, during, and after the elections.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is working extra office hours to help the voters from April 6 to May 25, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays to check their new Identity Documents and Temporary Identity Certificates.

"Citizens can also use the Branch Appointment Booking System (BABS), which is available on the DHA website to book appointments to collect their Smart ID Cards and Green barcoded ID books," Modise said.