KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala enforced a stricter lockdown for eThekwini because it had the highest Covid-19 positive cases and highest number of deaths in the country. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala enforced a stricter lockdown for eThekwini because it had the highest Covid-19 positive cases and highest number of deaths in the country. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency(ANA).

Durbanites complain about police abuse during 'intensified lockdown'

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Apr 22, 2020

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Durban – Since the start of the week many people have complained that law enforcers have become a bit abusive in roadblocks now that KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala enforced a stricter lockdown for the metro.

Zikalala’s decision came upon learning that eThekwini was the epicentre of Covid-19. During his address, eThekwini had 383 positive cases, a number which has since grown. Moreover, eThekwini has recorded the highest death rate in the province and the country.

“It is for these reasons that we have decided as the Provincial Command Council to implement an intensified lockdown for eThekwini District. We have issued a directive to our law enforcement authorities to apply the law in its strictest form, and make sure that there are no compromises. We want them to make sure that the violation of the lockdown by people who are supposed to be at home is met with the concomitant punishment as set out by the law,” said Zikalala.

On Tuesday, a Facebook user desperately needed to buy a few supplies from his supplier in Phoenix so he headed out with his essential services permit which had never used since the start of the lockdown.

When he was stopped at a roadblock on Station Road in Phoenix, he was asked for his permit and then allowed to proceed after he explained what he needed.

However, before he could pass, another officer he assumed was the captain, asked the officer that had stopped him where he was going.

“The captain came to me and asked me to produce the permit. He then accused me of having a fake permit and asked me to pull my vehicle aside. He continued speaking to me in a rude and vulgar manner. He asked me to produce another permit, which I had on my phone,” he said.

“After about two minutes the Captain screamed and told me ' ##ck off now' don't let me see you again with some other disgusting words that I don't wish to mention here.”

He said whilst some of them followed the lockdown regulations strictly, some police officers were above the law and no respect for normal citizens.

“It is totally unacceptable for police officers to behave in this pathetic manner especially during this time. This captain even undermined the authority of the policeman who stopped me,” he added.

He also said he would be laying a complaint at Phoenix SAPS where he assumed the officers worked.

On Monday, two nurses in two separate incidents were on their way to work when they were stopped at various roadblocks.

The first nurse said she was being driven to work by her husband when she was stopped at a roadblock. One of the police officers asked for her husband’s movement permit which he handed over but because it did not have his work stamp on it, the officer crumpled it up and threw it on the road.

The nurse however, had her work permit and was told that they were arresting her husband and she would have to find her own way to work.

Luckily, another police officer explained to them what the problem was and allowed them to proceed.

The other nurse in the other incident said she had forgotten her permit in her daughter’s car but because she was wearing her nurses uniform, the officers allowed her to proceed to work.

Daily News

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