Over 465 000 people arrested for defying lockdown regulations – Cele
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Cape Town – Highlighting the fact that 666 police officers have lost their lives to Covid-19 so far, Police Minister Bheki Cele is ’’confident there will be more compliance to the regulations than before’’ from the public under the adjusted level 4 rules.
While outlining the new lockdown measures with other National Coronavirus Command Council members on Tuesday, Cele welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the vaccination of SAPS and security personnel members will kick off on July 5. More than 180 000 SAPS members and supporting staff will be vaccinated.
Cele warned again that the contravention of lockdown restrictions might lead to a fine or six months’ jail, with transgressors ending up having a criminal record.
Since March 27 last year, 465 098 people have been charged for the contravention of the Disaster Management Act. A total of 7 439 people have been arrested during the adjusted alert level 3 restrictions this year.
'’While we gear up for the vaccination of officers in the front line, we know that for the next two weeks it will not be business as usual as we operate under adjusted level 4 lockdown regulations,’’ Cele said.
’’Over and above the initial vaccination programme, breaking the chain of transmission by reducing person-to-person contact remains a priority of the government, if we are to flatten the curve.
’’Security forces will have their work cut out for themselves... Their aim is not to arrest and criminalise people en masse. As a country, we are all wiser to the deadly fact of this virus.
’’We all know the pain Covid-19 continues to cause for us as a nation. I am confident there will be more compliance to save lives than before. Don’t let your life and those of your loved ones be the price. Let us all play our role in flattening the curve
’’Those who choose to transgress must know that police will be left with no choice but to act.’’
Cele reminded the nation that the reckless ignoring of mask contraventions has no ’’space in our society’’, which he said some political and business leaders have been guilty of.
On the sale of alcohol, he warned businesses that they might lose their stock, be imprisoned and have their liquor licence withdrawn.