Police and traffic officials held a roadblock in Elsies River earlier this week. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
Police and traffic officials held a roadblock in Elsies River earlier this week. Picture Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape has by far the most lockdown arrests

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 3, 2020

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Cape Town – More people have been arrested in the Western Cape for violating lockdown regulations than Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape combined.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said last night that seven days after the national lockdown started, 17 209 people have been arrested, with the breakdown by province being: 

Western Cape – 4,769

Free State – 3,098

Gauteng – 1,888

KwaZulu-Natal – 1,845

Eastern Cape – 1,613

North West – 1,562

Limpopo – 850

Northern Cape – 832

Mpumalanga – 752

The police have also received more than 87,000 gender-based violence complaints during this period

“It’s serious, no doubt about it. If I’m not mistaken, the last number we received is that 87,000 people have phoned to report gender-based violence in the household.

“There’s one case that I want to make here, of one police (officer) that has been charged for rape. What is not said is that he is a husband of the victim and she opened the case. He has been arrested,” Cele said.

Commenting on the number of lockdown offenders, Cele said: "What has been a dampener since the beginning of the lockdown has been the consistently high number of people arrested for violating the lockdown regulations."

Offences vary from transport- and liquor-related offences to general non-compliance with the regulations.

“Ideally, we would prefer that our communities and all stakeholders co-operate and comply to minimise the risk of exposure of both themselves and our 24,389 law enforcement members to Covid-19," said Cele. 

"We really do not want to arrest people but to contain the spread of the virus.”

Several videos of police and soldiers using force to enforce the regulations have surfaced on social media.

However, the number of police complaints has decreased since the start of the lockdown a week ago, said Cele. 

On the first three days of the lockdown, the Police Department had received 26 complaints, adding that the number had gone down to 12 in the last few days, which meant there was "stability".

Cape Times

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