143 arrested for burglaries at schools and liquor stores during Covid-19 lockdown
Cape Town - The police have made 143 arrests in connection with robberies and burglaries at 73 schools and 70 liquor outlets during the national lockdown.
This is according to the report presented by the SAPS top brass to the joint meeting of portfolio committee on police and the select committee on security and justice.
The report recorded 174 incidents of burglary related incidents in liquor outlets – bottle stores, liquor wholesalers, liquor retailers, taverns and pubs – between March 26 and April 16.
Gauteng led the pack with 46 incidents, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, with 24, and Limpopo, 18.
The North West, Western Cape and Mpumalanga recorded 15 each, while the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces had 14 each.
Free State recorded 12 incidents.
"The situation is constantly monitored to ensure timeous response to the identified current theat," reads the report.
The police also said there was a 64.5% (5 445) decline in domestic violence cases reported during the lockdown.
A total of 2 946 domestic violence related cases were recorded between March 29 and April 16, down from 8 391 reported during the same period in 2019.
The report also said 109 085 charges were laid nationwide for crimes linked to liquor, gathering, cross-border, transportation and misrepresentation, among others.
There were 114 377 dockets reported, 118 735 charges laid against persons and 42 388 were taken to court.
During the lockdown 117 charges were opened against government officials.
A total of 97 were from SAPS, five were councillors, nine from the Department of Health and two each from traffic and the Department of Correctional Services.
Meanwhile, 61 SAPS employees tested positive for Covid-19 with only four who have recovered, 54 in self-isolation and three in hospital.
There were 679 officials still waiting for test results, including 487 in quarantine.
The report said 34 police buildings were evacuated after staff tested positive and that 32 were sanitised and re-occupied afterwards.
It also said there were 111 SAPS officials who.were found on the wrong side of the Disaster Management Act regulations with 58 facing disciplinary action.
There were 14 arrested for other serious crimes and four on suspension.
The report said abuse of power or involvement in any illegal activities by employees during lockdown not only brought SAPS into disrepute but also grossly undermined government efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
"It is also a gross violation of SAPS code of conduct.
"Any contravention of the regulations by SAPS employees is regarded as serious misconduct and will, in addition to criminal charges, be dealt with in terms of the immediate disciplinary processes.
"Where appropriate employees and suspended and/or an expeditious process is initiated."