A police officer inspects the details of a driver in Phoenix
Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / ANA
A police officer inspects the details of a driver in Phoenix Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / ANA

Army, police warned not to violate people’s rights

By Sakhiseni Nxumalo and Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Mar 27, 2020

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Durban - As South Africans went on a 21-day lockdown at midnight, the country’s confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases increased by 218, to 927 cases.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said Gauteng now had 409 confirmed cases, followed by the Western Cape with 229 cases. KwaZulu-Natal had 134 confirmed cases, while the Free State had 49. North West province had five cases, while Mpumalanga had nine. Limpopo had six cases, the Eastern Cape had five, and the Northern Cape had only two confirmed cases.

There were 79 cases unallocated to a province.

Hours before the lockdown on Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa inspected a parade at the SAPS College in Pretoria and addressed the SANDF at the Dornkop Army Base in Johannesburg.

He said they would play an important part in supporting and enforcing the nation’s compliance with the restriction of movement under the national State of Disaster and lockdown. He called on the men and women in uniform to be supportive and give service, to assist, guide and lead the way.

“Make sure we do not violate the rights of our people,” said Ramaphosa.

He also called on all South Africans to demonstrate solidarity by displaying the national flag on social media, outside their homes and other prominent places as an act of compassion and unity during the lockdown.

Meanwhile, authorities in KZN are probing 22 cases of violations of the new regulations enacted to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Acting KZN Police Commissioner Major-General Dumezweni Chiliza said the violations were not only confined to those who went swimming in the sea, but included those breaching the regulations by hosting large gatherings in restaurants and purchasing alcohol outside of the stipulated hours.

Outlining the integrated security plan that comes into play from today, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Bheki Ntuli, said the breach of regulations was worrying as it indicated that many people were not taking the virus seriously.

He said during the lockdown, various operations and roadblocks would be carried out, targeting criminals.

“Vehicles that will be transporting non-essential goods and those who will be smuggling counterfeit goods will be dealt with harshly,” he said.

“Our teams will also be monitoring public areas and facilities such as beaches, parks, public transport facilities and shopping malls as part of the law-enforcement clampdown.”

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel warned that companies that made false applications and masqueraded as essential services they would face criminal prosecution.

Patel said essential service companies would be blocked from operating if they failed to make applications with his department from today until April 16.

Patel said all businesses that would be allowed to provide essential services during the lockdown were required to seek approval from the department.

“Such businesses are required to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) and obtain a certificate from the commission that allows them to continue trading,” Patel said.

“It should be stressed and noted that if you make a false application to the CIPC and are indeed not an essential service as per the government regulations, such will be taken as a fraudulent application and will render yourself as an applicant liable to criminal prosecution,” Patel said.

According to the Department of Trade and Industry, the certificate would be used as evidence by the authorities, including the police, when businesses were required to produce proof that they had been given government permission to trade, or that their employees were allowed to have unrestricted movement in relation to the operation of the ­business.

The Mercury

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