General Bheki Cele flanked by National Commissioner of Police Khela Sitole 
Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
General Bheki Cele flanked by National Commissioner of Police Khela Sitole Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Covid-19 lockdown: Almost 2000 arrested in KZN for flouting regulations

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Apr 3, 2020

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Durban - Police have arrested 1845 people in KwaZulu-Natal for flouting the law since the lockdown regulations came into effect at midnight last week Thursday. 

National police minister Bheki Cele said in total, 17 209 people have been arrested around the country. 

"What has been a dampener since the beginning of the lockdown has been the consistently high number of people being arrested for violating the lockdown regulations," he said. 

Cele said 2 298 arrests were effected on March 30. By close of business on March 31, the total sum of arrests had reached over 17 000 since the kick-off of the lockdown. Offences vary between transport related offences, liquor related and general non-compliance with the Regulations. Ideally,we would prefer that our communities and all stakeholders cooperate and comply to minimise the risk of exposure of both themselves as well as our 24 389 law enforcement members to Covid-19. We really do not want to arrest people but to contain the spread of the virus," he said. 

He added that members of the SAPS, the SANDF, Metro Police departments and all law enforcement agencies will remain on deployment throughout the lockdown period.

Minister Cele reiterated the need for provinces to align themselves to the national regulations, and not to unilaterally sanction their own unauthorised province-specific version of the regulations as this ends up confusing the public and of more concern, confusing the law enforcement agencies who are expected to enforce the national regulations.

Meanwhile, police made several arrests in Durban this week where people were found to be working without the necessary permits. 

In Phoenix, police found two businesses that were sewing face masks while another was found have been manufacturing hand sanitisers. The items were confiscated. 

Provincial breakdown of total arrests:

Gauteng - 1 888

Western Cape - 4 769

KwaZulu Natal - 1 845

Eastern Cape - 1 613

Northern Cape - 832

North West - 1 562

Free State - 3 098

Mpumalanga - 752

Limpopo - 850

Total - 17 209

The Mercury

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