Durban - Giving his third televised national address in 15 days on the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday raised concerns over citizens defying the 21-day lockdown rules and read the riot act to security forces.
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At the start of his address Ramaphosa said the decision to lock down the country for 21 days was seen as an effective measure to prevent the spread of the virus across the country.
He added that South Africans have, for the most part, responded responsibly to this decision by staying at home, observing the regulations and exercising the greatest of care.
He thanked those citizens who abided by the regulations and chided those who didn't, saying they seem to be underestimating the dangers posed by the pandemic.
“I would like to thank the people of South Africa for acting in a disciplined manner through this very difficult period. We are, however, concerned about those who have not yet appreciated the seriousness of this disease," he said.
While the issue of the alleged brutality of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), the South African Police Services (SAPS) and metro police officers from across the country's metros was expected to top the agenda, Ramaphosa said very little on the matter.
This is despite fears that the alleged brutality is likely to spark a groundswell of resistance.
Ramaphosa reminded the forces that the message given to them when they were dispersed last week was that they should not harm citizens, but instead, they should help them during this difficult time.
"We thank the 18 000 security personnel, drawn from the police, defence force, metro police and other entities, that are responsible for ensuring our safety. We have made it clear that the task of our security personnel is to support, reassure and comfort our people, and to ensure peace and order is maintained. They know that they must act within the law at all times and that they must not cause harm to any of our people.," Ramaphosa said.
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