Capetonians give officials quiet New Year
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Cape Town - Capetonians are mostly abiding by the new alert level 3 regulations as the City confirmed it had been the quietest New Year’s Eve and New Year, experienced by law enforcement in decades.
Among a limited number of arrests was Khayelitsha sub-council chair Patrick Mnxunyeni, expected to appear in court for alleged drunk-driving on New Year’s Eve.
Mnxunyeni was apprehended on Thursday and detained at the Bothasig police station following his arrest after the 9pm curfew, with calls for him to face an internal investigation and possible disciplinary action.
“This was the quietest it has been in decades, the beaches were empty and that is due to a combination of the alcohol and beach ban.
“The curfew also had a big impact, with the roads quiet by 9pm, except for a few noise nuisance complaints here and there,” safety and security executive director Richard Bosman said.
In one incident, kite surfers caught on the beach in Kommetjie on Saturday, received a warning and were told to leave the beach.
Western Cape police echoed Bosman’s views, in a statement they said: “Western Cape police have recorded fewer crime incidents and significant successes since Thursday evening with lockdown regulations in effect.”
A total of 2 915 fines were issued for the contravention of the Disaster Management Act regulations, the majority of the transgressions (2 185) were for failure to confine in place of residence between 9pm and 6am.
Twenty-nine illegal shebeens were closed down with 32 arrests for sale, dispensing and distributing liquor, police said.
A total of 11 000 litres of alcohol were confiscated during the policing operations over the weekend.
Thirteen firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition were confiscated in different areas throughout the province.
Police officials were also deployed on beaches along the Garden Route, Overberg, West Coast and Cape Town.
“While most beaches were deserted, there were a few transgressors who were dealt with. During compliance inspections on beaches in the Overberg on Friday, police removed and fined 15 persons from three beaches in Pringle Bay, Onrus and Castle Beach. Fines to the value of R15 000 were issued,” police said.
Western Cape SAPS management thanked the public for observing level 3 regulations and respecting the rule of law.
Following reports of gatherings at a mosque (masjied) in Cape Town which held Jumu'ah (special Friday prayer); the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) said there had been some confusion about the interpretation of the new level 3 regulations.
“The government caused confusion by saying no religious gatherings. People were not sure if this meant places of worship as well because in the first lockdown they specifically specified places of worship. It is very sad that police had to stop sermons because people thought they were adhering to the rules,” MJC second deputy president Sheikh Riad Fataar said.
Police confirmed they had stopped a service but the situation was amicably resolved.
“A prayer service in Salt River was stopped by Woodstock police on Friday afternoon as it was in contravention with the Disaster Management Act. No one was arrested,” police spokesperson Andre Traut said.
Traut also confirmed Mnxunyeni’s arrest by traffic department officers at about 9.40pm on Thursday for driving his vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Mnxunyeni on Sunday, referred all questions to the ANC.
ANC Dullah Omar Region secretary Vuyiso Tyhalisisu said the party has noted the reports of the arrest with grave concern.
“The officials of the REC will meet with the councillor to discuss this incident and allow him to present his side of the story. Thereafter, the officials will brief the REC which will determine the immediate action steps that need to be taken.
“We are also in full support for the law enforcement investigative process to proceed without fear or favour.
“We are encouraging all our communities to abide by the regulations as we are in a war to save lives,” said Tyhalisisu.