Elections security: Stop spreading fake news, police warn that cybercrime units are on high alert

Think before you share any news on social media, to avoid panic and confusion, the police have warned. Picture: File image

Think before you share any news on social media, to avoid panic and confusion, the police have warned. Picture: File image

Published May 28, 2024


South African Police Services (SAPS) have been given one mandate for the election - Maintain law and order.

Speaking ahead of the elections, set to take place on Wednesday, National Police Commissioner, General Fanie Masemola, gave the men and women in blue marching orders to ensure they prevent and combat any acts of criminality, and protect the rights of South Africans to vote in a peaceful environment.

Thousands of police officers have been deployed all over the country.

“We are sending you off to maintain law and order. No disruptions and acts of criminality should take place under your watch.

“We are sending you out there to protect the Constitutional right of South Africans and the integrity of the election process,” Masemelo said.

On Friday, the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) was officially opened by Ministers of the Justice Crime Prevention Security Cluster in Tshwane.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, said since its opening, police have been able to, in a short space of time, speed-up and fast track a collective NATJOINTS response to any threat, any lawlessness that have been unfolding in different parts of the country, citing the recent truck protest which called off.

“We have no doubt that this early warning system has proven itself to be able to detect and address all identified security risks.

“Our collaborated efforts have showcased that we will not tolerate and allow anyone to undermine our efforts to ensure stability across the country.”

Mathe said it is also important to highlight that normal day-to day policing operations will continue on election day in the form of tracing operations, roadblocks, stop and searches and patrols.


Police have urged people to refrain from sharing fake news.

Co-chair of Natjoints Lieutenant General Tebello Mosikili said:

“We take this opportunity to caution responsible citizens especially social media users from spreading fake news.

“You are all urged to verify facts first before sharing any information, which often leads to unnecessary confusion and panic.

“We will not tolerate any incitement of violence on any platforms.

“Our intelligence communities and cybercrime units are closely monitoring online users. You are warned not to step out of line.”

Mosikili said while the task at hand, is one that is immense they are confident that they are ready, given the experience of the past elections.

“Indeed, the road to a safe, secure and peaceful election requires the commitment and effort from all stakeholders including our communities.

“We are grateful that thus far, our communities and South Africans from all walks of life have continued to display responsible conduct and behaviour.”


The police have reminded all political parties that political campaigning ends at midnight on May 28.

“Should this continue, beyond this period, this would be a transgression and contravention of the electoral act.”

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